Clovis teacher wins Milken Educator Award

HANDOUT PHOTO MILKEN FAMILY FOUNDATION
Fourth-grade teacher Silvia Miranda, left, can’t believe her ears: She is the winner of New Mexico’s 2018-19 Milken Educator Award and $25,000.

Clovis teacher Silvia Miranda, who teaches fourth-graders and other students that writing is fundamental to improving in math and other subjects at Mesa Elementary, was surprised Tuesday morning during a school assembly with the national Milken Educator Award and its accompanying $25,000 cash prize.

Milken Educator Awards Senior Vice President Dr. Jane Foley and state Education Secretary-designate Christopher Ruszkowski made the presentation to a stunned Miranda, the only Milken Educator Award winner from New Mexico this year and one of 40 nationwide, according to a news release.

“As evidenced by her students’ academic growth,” she is one of New Mexico’s highest-performing teachers, Ruszkowski said, adding that she has demonstrated brilliance in her craft and is a testament to the “transformative power of excellent teaching in our students’ lives.”

Organizers of the program said Miranda had an epiphany that improved writing could lead to other improvements as well, so she worked with other teachers and staff, adjusting their teaching methods on the fly. Miranda’s students consistently outperform school, district and state averages on assessments in reading, writing and math.

Superintendent of Clovis Municipal Schools Jody Balch said, “Silvia would be the first to recognize her fantastic students and her peers for her ongoing teaching success. This award is fantastic for our district and the community of Clovis.”

An experienced bilingual educator, Miranda prepares students for the district’s Spanish spelling bee and she organized the Mesa Science Fair for fourth- and fifth-graders. She also helped write Mesa’s National Blue Ribbon Award winning application.

Miranda earned her bachelor’s degree in education from Eastern New Mexico University in 2004 and a master’s from Wayland Baptist University in 2013.

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