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OLATHE, Kan. — An Olathe teacher got the surprise of a lifetime Friday when she was named a winner of the Milken Educator Award.

The award was presented to Brougham Elementary principal Stephanie Conklin during a school-wide assembly put on by Milken Family Foundation Chairman and Co-Founder Lowell Milken, Kansas Department of Education Commissioner Dr. Randy Watson, and Interim District Superintendent Dr. Patricia All.

“The educational outcomes that Stephanie Conklin has helped to drive at Brougham Elementary School are outstanding and a true example of the leadership that’s needed to ensure children’s success,” Lowell Milken said. “Staff, students and parents rise to the expectations and well-articulated goals she establishes, creating a strong and vibrant learning community.”

The award recognizes the exceptional work of Conklin as a model for the state and nation. The prestigious honor will be presented at up to 35 schools this  school year. Conklin received the only Milken Educators Award given in Kansas this year.

“Stephanie Conklin is a great example of Kansas’ outstanding principals,” said Watson. “It’s an honor to recognize her. She dedicates so much of her time to her students and helps prepare them for the future. I want to thank the Milken Family Foundation for providing us the opportunity to recognize some of Kansas’ finest educators and administrators.”

As part of the award, the Conklin gets $25,000 as a personal prize.

“Stephanie is a principal that is dedicated to achieving great outcomes in learning for her students,” All said. “She uses student performance data to make educational decisions and is an outstanding leader who works closely with staff, parents and the community to bring out the best in her students. We are incredibly proud of her for this well-deserved honor.”

Teacher magazine described the award as  ‘the Oscars of teaching.’

More than $138 million in funding, including $68 million in individual $25,000 awards, has been devoted to the overall program, which includes powerful professional development opportunities throughout recipients` careers.

According to a news release, the exceeded projected growth scores in all grades in the spring of 2016 and consistently ranks in the top five of the district’s 35 elementary schools.

Conklin earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Fort Hays State University and earned her master’s degree in educational leadership and policy studies from the University of Kansas.

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