Local teacher receives surprise $25,000 as part of national award


A Colorado Springs teacher received a surprise $25,000 on Wednesday during a school assembly.

It’s all part of the Milken Educator Award also known as the “Oscars of teaching.”

Teachers, students and staff at Soaring Eagles Elementary School were told the assembly Wednesday was to welcome guest of honor, Dr. Katy Anthes the Colorado Commissioner of Education.

Much to the school’s surprise though the assembly was to honor one of their own.

“And that teacher is Sarah Szymanski,” said Lowell Milken, chairman of the Milken Family Foundation.

Second-grade teacher Sarah Szymanski teaches math and science with the gifted and talented magnet school. She is now one of 40 educators across the nation and the only one in Colorado to receive the award for 2018-2019.

“When I heard that name I was pretty sure that I had fabricated that in my head, I didn’t think there was any possibility that what I was hearing was true,” said Sarah Szymanski, who received the Milken Educator Award.

Szymanski says failure is not an option and does everything in her power to help students excel.

“We do everything we can to get them on track and I really think that is whats helps our kids be so successful and really create a lot of success for the school as a whole,” said Szymanski.

The national award targets early-to-mid career education professionals, honoring their achievements and also their promising futures.

Over 30 years 2,700 of these awards have been given out, totaling $68-million.

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