West Springfield High School biology teacher Ann Lam Wong today became the second Virginia teacher this year to receive a $25,000 Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award. Superintendent of Public Instruction Patricia I. Wright and Milken Family Foundation Senior Vice President Jane Foley presented the award during a surprise assembly at the winner’s school.
"Every school day, Ann Lam Wong demonstrates her commitment to her students and to helping them achieve excellence standards," said Dr. Wright. "Today, the Milken Family Foundation's National Educator Awards program is recognizing her achievements and what she represents – the dedication of Virginia teachers to student success."
An educator for 15 years, Wong increased the number of Advanced Placement (AP) biology classes offered at West Springfield High from one to three. After implementing a school-wide AP academy to prepare and encourage students for success in AP courses, the school saw a 27 percent increase in overall AP enrollment.
Wong was chosen by students, staff and community as teacher of the year and has been recognized by Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers, was a finalist for the Washington Post’s Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher Awards and a nominee for the Disney American Teacher Award. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Virginia Tech and a master’s degree from George Mason University.
Wong joins 33 other Virginia educators – including fellow 2009 recipient Sharon A. Dravvorn, a mathematics teacher at Woodbridge Senior High School in Prince William County – who have been recognized by the Milken Family Foundation since the commonwealth began participating in the awards program in 1999. They become members of the Milken Educator Network to provide expertise to fellow educators, legislators, school boards and others shaping the future of education.
The Milken Family Foundation National Educator Awards reward and recognize elementary and secondary schoolteachers, principals, and other education professionals who promote excellence and innovation in public education.
The Milken Family Foundation National Educator Awards – dubbed "the Oscars of teaching" by Teacher Magazine – were first presented in 1987. Since the inception of the program, the Milken Family Foundation has distributed more than $60 million in awards to more than 2,400 educators across the country. This year, 53 new recipients are being announced in surprise assemblies at their schools. This year’s award winners will receive their unrestricted $25,000 prizes in spring 2010 at the Milken Family Foundation National Education Forum in Los Angeles.