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New Tech Teacher Receives Milken Award

Ginger Giessler, an English teacher at New Tech Academy at Wayne High School, is a recipient of the 2013 Milken Educator Award, a prestigious national award recognizing the exceptional work of teachers. The award comes with an unrestricted $25,000 prize. The surprise announcement was made at an assembly Thursday, Oct. 3, at Wayne by Dr. Jane Foley, Senior Vice President of the Milken Educator Awards and Director of the Milken Scholars, and past Milken Educator Award winners, including Fort Wayne Community Schools retiree Christine Michael, who won the award in 2000 when she was a teacher at Irwin Elementary. FWCS also has two other previous winners, retiree Frances Mustapha, who won in 1993 when he was a teacher at South Side High School, and Christine Danley, a fifth-grade teacher at Holland Elementary, who won in 1996. Giessler is one of the original New Tech Academy teachers, joining the staff when New Tech opened at Wayne in 2009. Prior to joining New Tech, she taught Advanced Placement English, Junior Academic English and in the Freshmen Academy at ElmhurstHigh School. She is a graduate of South Side High School and received her Bachelor of Science Degree in business from Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW), a Bachelor of Arts Degree in secondary education (English) from IPFW, and her Master of Education Degree from Indiana Wesleyan Fort Wayne. She was named an exemplary teacher by the New Tech Network in 2010. “We are incredibly proud to have a teacher of Ms. Giessler’s caliber working with our students,” Fort Wayne Community Schools Superintendent Dr. Wendy Robinson said. “She represents the best qualities in our teaching staff: Total dedication to ensuring all students are educated to high standards.” The Milken Educator Awards, conceived by Lowell Milken to attract, retain and motivate outstanding talent to the teaching profession, is the nation’s preeminent teacher recognition program, dubbed the “Oscars of Teaching” by Teacher Magazine. Since 1987, the Milken Family Foundation has devoted more than $136 million in funding to the Milken Educator Awards, including more than $64 million in individual awards to nearly 2,600 recipients plus powerful professional development opportunities and networking with leading education stakeholders. Candidates for the Milken Educator Awards are selected on the basis of the following criteria:

  • Exceptional educational talent as evidenced by effective instructional practices and student learning results in the classroom and school;
  • Exemplary educational accomplishments beyond the classroom that provide models of excellence for the profession;
  • Individuals whose contributions to education are largely unheralded yet worthy of the spotlight;
  • Early- to mid-career educators who offer strong long-range potential for professional and policy leadership; and
  • Engaging and inspiring presence that motivates and impacts students, colleagues and the community.

The awards story doesn’t end with the surprise notification. New recipients are invited to join the Milken Educator Network, a group of distinguished educators coast-to-coast whose expertise serves as a valuable resource to fellow educators, legislators, school boards and others shaping the future of education. “Milken Educators point to the Award as a pivotal professional milestone,” Dr. Foley said. Dr. Foley was a 1994 Milken Educator recipient from Indiana. MORE INFORMATION: Website: <;&nbsp;&gt; Press kit: <&quot;%20http:/;> Video <&quot;%20http:/;> : <&quot;;&gt;

With nearly 31,000 students, Fort Wayne Community Schools is Indiana’s largest school district. FWCS proudly allows families to choose any of its 51 schools through its successful school-choice program creating diversity in each school, including some with more than 75 languages spoken. FWCS offers seven magnet schools focusing on areas such as science and math, communication, fine arts or Montessori at the elementary and middle school level. In high school, students can choose from the prestigious International Baccalaureate program, Project Lead the Way or New Tech Academy as well as other rigorous academic and specialty training programs.
© Fort Wayne Community Schools

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