Chattanooga Educator Surprised by $25,000 Milken Award

Tuesday, March 07, 2017 | 8:49am

NASHVILLE— Today, Katelyn Baker, a Hamilton County elementary school teacher, was awarded $25,000 provided by the Milken Family Foundation in a surprise ceremony at Battle Academy.

The award was presented by Education Commissioner Candice McQueen and Senior Vice President of the Milken Educator Awards, Dr. Jane Foley. Foley, a former recipient of the Milken Award, served as a representative for the Milken Family Foundation at the surprise ceremony in Chattanooga.

“Early grade educators provide our students a strong foundation from which they can grow into lifelong learners, and Katelyn Baker is working every day to help her students get there,” Commissioner Candice McQueen said. “She is an exceptional educator who has gone above and beyond to support and encourage each student in her classroom, and I am proud to recognize her with this award.”

“Early in her career, Katelyn Baker has established herself as an effective and compassionate teacher leader and mentor,” said Dr. Jane Foley. “She tailors instruction to meet her students’ needs, shares successful strategies with colleagues, builds relationships with parents and plays an important role in moving the whole school forward. I look forward to following Katelyn’s exciting future in the teaching profession.”

Baker is known for her ability to provide students options from which they can choose their learning activities and offers multiple assessment options to measure a student’s understanding. Under her guidance and careful management, students work independently, stay organized and engaged, and self-assess their learning continuously. As a result, Baker’s students at all learning levels show consistently high growth.

As the third-grade team lead, Baker represents her grade level at school meetings and oversees the grade’s day-to-day operations. She leads team planning each week for her grade level and provides feedback on lesson content and pacing. Baker serves on the school leadership team and has worked on committees that focus on arts integration, Socratic seminars, and multiple intelligences. As the school’s literacy support representative, Baker is responsible for sharing key literacy information from the district with her school. She leads best practices sessions for intermediate teachers and mentors student teachers from local universities.

In Tennessee, 64 educators have been recognized since the program began in the state in 1992. Over the past 24 years that Tennessee has been a part of the program, more than $1.6 million has been awarded to Tennessee educators.

You can find additional information and pictures from the ceremony on the Milken Educator Awards website.

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