Milken Foundation names third Arkansan as education award-winner

Mayflower high school teacher Andrew Harrison is congratulated by his students after winning a Milken Educator. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Thomas Metthe)

A third Arkansas teacher in two days has been named a 2023-24 Milken Educator Award winner.

Lowell Milken, founder of the Milken Educator Awards and chairman and co-founder of the Milken Family Foundation, announced on Wednesday afternoon that Mayflower High School social studies teacher and coach Andrew Harrison has won the award. The surprise announcement was made at Harrison's school.

Harrison is a Mayflower alumnus.

Earlier on Tuesday, Milken announced 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. 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.

Harrison, 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.

Each honoree receives a $25,000 award. Recipients may use the money as they choose.

(Read Thursday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for more details on Harrison and Anderson.)