Randolph Massachusetts, a short 18 miles distance from Boston, has become a quiet suburban mecca for growing families and professionals alike. People from Boston move to Randolph. There was this gossip going around town that Randolph was getting the troubles Boston’s Mattapan, Dor, Rox was sending them but I don’t know about that. Let the police department data speak to that. Randolph is like a hometown down South where Town Councillors govern for no pay although they really, really deserve to be paid and wanted to be paid but voters in this past election said no to that question on the ballot.
Town people are diverse. Test this: when you meet a Haitian in Boston that doesn’t live in Boston, ask them for chances are, they live in Randolph. Randolph pays tribute to Veterans Day and America’s holidays and ceremonies. Town townies have a special patriotic spirit. What’s missing? A great burrito sandwich shop is missing, bookstores, vege-restaurants for millennials, and Starbuckish-like coffee joints like a NERO are missing. What’s going out of style in Randolph? The pizza joints in Crawford Square have served the town well over the years but now they need new menus or they need to close!
If you think Harvard Square has the only good Vietnamese restaurants,think again for you will find them in Randolph too. Randolph’s home prices are what you would expect. Kids out on a date will have a good time at Friday night high school football where the new $2.6 million stadium complex hosts the games. And when its not football going on there, its soccer and semi-pro football. For rising musicians, there are national marching band competitions where competing bands arrive in vessels designed for rock star tours to compete against other high school marching bands on that astro turf.
So why I am telling you this? Because yesterday, a teacher in Randolph won the coveted $25,000 Milken Educator Award and that has never happened before in Randolph. So if you’re taking a job in Boston Proper and want to save dollars, consider the Town of Randolph.
SANTA MONICA, CA (November 13, 2015) — In front of her principal, colleagues, students, staff and distinguished community members, social studies teacher Michelle Ryan was given the surprise of her life this morning when she received the prestigious Milken Educator Award and a $25,000 check during a schoolwide assembly at Randolph High School.
She was presented with the distinct navy blue envelope by Dr. Jane Foley, Senior Vice President of the Milken Educator Awards, and an Award recipient herself, and Education Secretary James A. Peyser.
Michelle Ryan is the state’s 43rd Milken Award winner and the second from Randolph. She is the only Massachusetts recipient in 2015-16 and one of up to 40 recipients across the country this school year.
“Congratulations to Michelle Ryan for the recognition of her inspiring instruction and her dedicated service to Randolph’s students,” said Peyser. “Teachers like Ms. Ryan are one of the reasons Massachusetts has vibrant schools and a strong future.”
“Michelle Ryan exemplifies the hard work and professionalism Massachusetts educators put in every day as teachers, mentors and learners,” said Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Mitchell D. Chester. “It is a pleasure to honor Ms. Ryan, who helps her students meet the high expectations she has for them. She also holds herself to a high standard and is constantly improving her practice and helping to ensure her school serves all students well.”
Students don’t want to miss a class with Ryan, who’s known to expect superior work and effort from her students at Randolph High School. Ryan is a gifted teacher with the innate ability to lead students to success by fostering positive relationships built on mutual respect and hard work.
Ryan engages students by developing innovative lessons that require them to build their own views about complicated concepts. Her classroom is a place where students work while having fun.
She is the kind of teacher who can turn a struggling student into a star performer.
“Your class has been an unforgettable experience,” recalled a former student. The student said they have never been so interested in a subject and challenged in that manner.
She was a leader in the implementation of the Keys to Literacy Reading Comprehension system this year, working with students on Close Reading of challenging text. As a result, all students were able to pass her rigorous course. The NWEA Reading results for 10th grade students jumped by 19.6%.
Because of her reputation as an enjoyable and effective teacher, Ryan’s elective classes are frequently at maximum capacity. Students see Ryan as a leader and role model. The student body has awarded her “most entertaining teacher” and “most inspiring teacher” for the past four years running.
Ryan is often at the forefront of initiatives to better the lives of students and teachers. She’s dedicated to addressing the issue of education equity within the district and beyond and has implemented several strategies that aim to give every student—regardless of race, gender and abilities—the same access to an outstanding education.
As part of her ongoing work with at-risk students, Ryan played an integral role in the implementation of a $35,000 Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation Grant, which went toward strategies that supported 50 students who sought an alternative high school route. It included creating the first online courses at the school, remedial instruction access and more.
Ryan was selected as the school’s social studies department head and takes the lead on curriculum development. She continually strives to learn and improve her Common Core teaching and learning strategies to better align with district and state goals.
She is an alumna of the University of Massachusetts, where she received a Bachelor of Arts in history in 2006 and a master’s in education in 2008. She continues to take professional development classes there and is pursuing a graduate degree in education policy.
“Through her encouraging words, actions and instruction, Michelle demonstrates high standards and the belief in all students’ ability to meet them,” said Foley. “Her lessons require students to build their understanding of the big ideas and the essential concepts of material. This is an example for other educators to follow. She will be an incredible asset to the Milken Educator family.”
The Milken Educator Awards program, which was launched by the Milken Family Foundation in 1987, has been described as “the Oscars of teaching” by Teacher magazine. Recipients are selected in early to mid-career for what they have achieved and for the promise of what they will accomplish. Many have gone on to earn advanced degrees and be placed in prominent posts and on state and national education committees. Alternating yearly between elementary and secondary educators, the Milken Awards are sourced through each participating state department of education, which appoints an independent blue ribbon committee to confidentially review candidates for recommendation to MFF.
This year, MFF is launching a #MyTeacherRocks Instagram campaign that encourages students to take selfies with their favorite teacher and describe in the caption why their teacher is special. To enter the contest, entrants are asked to follow @MilkenFamilyFdn on Instagram, post their selfie to their individual account and use the #MyTeacherRocks and #MilkenAward hashtags. The three photos with the most “likes” will be selected in November 2015, and February and April 2016.
To get regular updates on the surprise Milken Educator Award events, follow and use the #MilkenAward hashtag on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. For more information about the Milken Educator Awards, visit www.MilkenEducatorAwards.org or call MFF at (310) 570-4772.
The Milken Educator Awards, created by the Milken Family Foundation, were launched in 1987. The Awards provide public recognition and individual financial rewards of $25,000 to elementary and secondary school teachers, principals and specialists from around the country who are furthering excellence in education. Recipients are heralded in early to mid-career for what they have achieved and for the promise of what they will accomplish.