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Jonesboro band director named Milken Award winner

by Cynthia Howell | May 11, 2022 at 11:43 a.m.
Grant Harbison, the Jonesboro Band Director, and his wife, Leah, react after learning Harbison won the Milken Educator Award for $25,000 during a school assembly at the Academies at Jonesboro High School on Wednesday, May 11, 2022. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Stephen Swofford)

JONESBORO — Grant Harbison, the band director at The Academies at Jonesboro High School, won a $25,000 Milken Educator Award today.

Harbison, a Jonesboro native who returned to his alma mater to teach and share his love of music, learned about the award during a surprise announcement at a school assembly.

"I'm shocked and I'm shook," Harbison said.

Ivy Pfeffer, deputy commissioner of the Arkansas Department of Education’s Division of Elementary and Secondary Education, and Milken Educator Awards Vice President Stephanie Bishop presented the award to Harbison before cheering students and colleagues.

Harbison is among more than 60 educators nationwide who will receive a Milken Award during the 2021-22 school year, and the second from Arkansas. 

Kamisha Burlingame, a fourth-grade teacher at Thomas Jefferson Elementary in Bentonville, received a Milken Award on April 27.

The last Milken recipient in the Jonesboro School District was in 2013.

Read Thursday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for more details.


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