Greenbrier teacher named Milken Educator Award winner

Ashley Anderson, sixth grade teacher at Greenbrier Middle school was named a 2023-24 recipient of a Milken Educator Award in a ceremony at the school on Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2023. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Thomas Metthe)

Ashley Anderson — a sixth-grade English language arts teacher at Greenbrier Middle School — has been named a 2023-24 recipient of a Milken Educator Award.

Philanthropist Lowell Milken presented Anderson with the award, which includes $25,000 and came about during a surprise announcement at her school. Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Department of Education Secretary Jacob Oliva joined Milken to honor Anderson before hundreds of cheering students, staff and colleagues.

Anderson is the first Greenbrier Public Schools teacher to receive a Milken Educator Award 

On Tuesday, Milken presented the first 2023-24 Milken Educator Award in the nation in Arkansas. The designee was Michael Tapee, a mathematics teacher at Hellstern Middle School in Springdale. 

The Milken Educator Awards are hailed as the “Oscars of Teaching.”

Anderson and Tapee are among up to 75 recipients across the country this school year who will be awarded as part of the Milken Family Foundation’s Journey to the 3,000th Milken Educator. The recipients are not aware of their candidacy for the award, let alone their selection, until the moment their name is announced.

The honorees attend an all-expenses-paid Milken Educator Awards Forum in Los Angeles in June 2024, where they will network with their new colleagues as well as veteran Milken Educators and other education leaders about how to broaden their impact on K-12 education.

The $25,000 award is unrestricted. Recipients may use the money as they choose.