Woodbridge Senior High School mathematics teacher Sharon A. Dravvorn today received a $25,000 award from the Milken Family Foundation. Superintendent of Public Instruction Patricia I. Wright and Milken Family Foundation co-founder Michael Milken presented the award during a surprise assembly at the winner’s school.
“Every day Sharon Dravvorn shows exceptional commitment to her students and her continued belief in excellence in education,” said Dr. Wright. “Today she is receiving recognition through the Milken Family Foundation’s National Educator Awards program for making a profound difference in the lives of Virginia students.”
The Milken Family Foundation National Educator Awards are designed to reward and provide recognition for elementary and secondary schoolteachers, principals, and other education professionals who promote excellence and innovation in public education.
An educator for 18 years, Dravvorn is credited with creating a learning environment that encourages high achievement. In 2008, all of her students passed their mathematics SOL tests and many of her students have gone on to achieve success in Advanced Placement courses.
Dravvorn is described by colleagues as “the epitome of a professional” who would earn the “perfect 10” on a 10-point grading scale. She has been recognized by Who’s Who among America’s Teachers and twice has been named Woodbridge Senior High School educator of the year. She also was a finalist for the Washington Post’s Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher Awards.
Dravvorn holds a bachelor’s degree from James Madison University and a master’s degree from George Mason University.
Dravvorn joins 32 other Virginia educators who have been recognized by the Milken Family Foundation since Virginia 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.
Educators are recommended for the Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award without their knowledge by a blue-ribbon panel appointed by each participating state’s department of education. Identification and selection procedures for the awards are confidential and the program does not include a formal nomination or application process. Recipients of the awards are selected on the basis of numerous criteria, including:
- Exceptional educational talent as evidenced by student achievement and outstanding instructional practices in the classroom, school, and profession;
- Outstanding accomplishments and strong long-range potential for professional and policy leadership; and
- Engaging and inspiring presence that motivates and impacts students, colleagues, and the community at-large.
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 fall, 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.