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Teachers in Virginia Beach, York County receive national award for devotion, hard work

The Milken Educator Awards have been around for 35 years, and schools across the country deem it the "Oscars of Teaching."

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Author's note: The video above is on file from a separate story that aired on February 22, 2022.

Two teachers across the Tidewater region received an unexpected surprise in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week on Wednesday.

The Milken Educator Awards have been around for 35 years, and schools across the country deem it the "Oscars of Teaching." 

Each recipient receives a $25,000 reward and entrance into the Milken Educator Network, which can provide connections and opportunities. 

From the Southside, Virginia Beach Middle School teacher Kimberly Collins was honored for her ability to help students grow in confidence and knowledge.

Collins is an English teacher who focuses on Social Emotional Learning (SEL). She's also on Virginia Beach Middle’s PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports) team, and she has coached softball and started an after-school running club for students. 

“I can’t think of a better way to celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week than to honor an outstanding Virginia teacher and join with her colleagues, principal, superintendent, school board members and students in celebrating her success and this wonderful recognition from the Milken Family Foundation,” Virginia Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow said. 

"Kimberly makes a difference in the lives of her students every day. She epitomizes the selflessness, dedication, creativity and commitment to excellence of all of the Virginia teachers we celebrate and recognize this week.”

Credit: Milken Family Foundation
Collins, pictured above, talks with someone after she received her award.
Credit: Milken Family Foundation
Collins with her $25,000 check on May 4, 2022.

In York County, Taylor Goodson, a third grade teacher at Coventry Elementary School, was recognized Wednesday afternoon. 

"I am thrilled to welcome another Milken Educator from Virginia, as this state holds a special place in my heart,” said Stephanie Bishop, vice president of the Milken Educator Awards and a 2001 Virginia Milken Educator. 

“Taylor Goodson’s dedication to increasing literacy, willingness to assist and mentor students and colleagues, and adaptability to meet student needs are just some of the characteristics that make her a model to follow. We welcome Taylor to our national Milken Educator Network and look forward to her contributions.”

Goodson leads a third grade educational team for the school, and she chooses to go further by seeking out new research methods on how to help students learn to read and other professional learning opportunities. 

She also helped the district choose a new assessment platform for both third and fifth grade readers, and she represents Coventry Elementary at the division’s Leadership Academy.

When COVID-19 first hit and many teachers were scrambling to create virtual learning, Goodson took the extra step of creating special learning packets for her students. 

You can watch her win the award below:

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