An extraordinary day at one Evansville elementary school this morning as one of its teachers is surprised with a very prestigious award.
Here’s a quick question for you:
What do Oscar winners, Grammy winners, and Nobel Laureate’s have in common?
Most of them all had wonderful teachers.
And today, one Evansville teacher received what’s considered a “Teaching Oscar.”
What could have possibly happened at Oak Hill Elementary School to prompt this reaction?
Some students say,”I almost cried.” “It was amazing.” “I thought it was so exciting. I thought it was exciting and I’m very surprised.”
And this reaction too?
“Love you. Bye. Okay. He’s just as shocked as I am!”
Let’s go back to about 30 minutes before.
It was a special all-school assembly featuring a very special guest.
Greg Gallagher from the Milken Family Foundation was there to speak with students and make a very big announcement.
“It is my pleasure to announce the recipient of the Milken Educator Award to Traci Druschke,” says Greg Gallagher of the Milken Family Foundation.
Third grade teacher at Oak Hill Elementary, Traci Druschke, says, “I am still in disbelief. I need someone to pinch me.”
“What makes today even more exciting is that not one student, not one teacher, and not one faculty member here in this gymnasium new that this was a big surprise.”
Druschke says, “I’m amazed. I’m shocked. Best word. Shocked.”
The Milken Educator Award is called the Oscars of Teaching.
Gallagher says Druschke is the winner because of her innovative teaching method known as Whole Brain Instruction.
“She uses data so she knows where students stand and she brings them up to speed,” says Gallagher.
Druschke says, “It’s just more active teaching and the kids are apart of it and they love to be here.”
And did I mention the award comes with a cash prize of $25,000?
Druschke says she has no plans with the money yet but there’s at least one student with a suggestion.
“I want to ask if she is going to spend it all on coffee because she loves coffee.”
Probably not. But continuing to inspire students? Definitely.
“I love when students want to learn because when they want to learn you’re able to do so much with them and make them rise to the occasion,” says Druschke. “There are tons of… I just have high expectations of kids and things that they didn’t know they could do, they can do. “
The award was so top secret that only eight people in the entire school corporation knew about it, including the school’s principal.
In fact, I was told that their biggest fear leading up to this morning was that Mrs. Druschke would catch the flu-bug going around and would call in sick today.
They say they’re happy all went as planned.