FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. – A Fernandina Beach elementary school teacher joined a select group of about 40 educators nationwide to receive the Milken Educator Award this year.
Jennifer Albert, a fifth-grade science and mathematics teacher at Emma Love Hardee Elementary School, was named a 2018-19 recipient of the national recognition, which comes with a $25,000 prize from the Milken Family Foundation, during a surprise school assembly Thursday.
"Inspirational teachers like Jennifer Albert do whatever it takes to improve the lives and futures of their students," said Dr. Jane Foley, Milken Family Foundation vice president who was at the surprise announcement. "Science, math and creativity commingle mightily in her classroom where active learning lights the way to better opportunities, outcomes and lives."
It was the only Milken Educator Award presented in Florida this season.
"I have had the opportunity to witness firsthand her passion for educating Florida’s future generations," said Florida Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart, who also was on hand at Thursday's announcement. "She has an impressive ability to impact positively her students and to form strong positive relationships with their families. She possesses many outstanding qualities that make her an excellent role model for all educators."
Albert, who has been an educator for 17 years, was named Nassau County’s Teacher of the Year in 2014-15 and has been identified as a Nassau County Model Teacher. She has been serving as the fifth-grade chair for the past four years.
She uses data to drive her instruction while differentiating each student’s individual needs. Albert promotes student engagement through project-based learning, vocabulary games and peer mentoring.
"Jennifer Albert is a dedicated educator who works diligently to ensure the success of every student every day,” said Dr. Kathy Burns, superintendent of the Nassau County School District. “She builds positive relationships with her students, their families, and her peers. The data is just one more indicator of her overwhelming success."
According to the Milken Family Foundation, Albert's class delivered 81 percent proficiency in science and 79 percent in math.
The Milken Family Foundation has been surprising and rewarding teachers for 31 years. The Milken Educator Awards, which Teacher magazine describes as the "Oscars of Learning," provide recognition and awards of $25,000 to exceptional elementary and secondary school teachers, principals and specialists who are furthering education excellence.
Florida has had 43 educators recognized with the Milken Award since 1998.
For more information about the Milken Educator Awards, visit milkeneducatorawards.org.