The State Board of Education (SBOE) and State Superintendent of Schools (Mohammed Choudhury) honored the Maryland Milken Educator Award Recipients for 2021 and 2022 at today's State Board meeting. The recipients were Melissa Salkeld, the 2021 Maryland Milken Educator Award Recipient, and Dion Jones, the 2022 Maryland Milken Educator Award Recipient.
The Milken Educator Awards, created by Lowell Milken in 1987, have rewarded and inspired excellence in the world of education by honoring top educators around the country with $25,000 unrestricted awards. The Milken Educator Awards target early-to-mid career education professionals for their already impressive achievements and, more significantly, for the promise of what they will accomplish in the future.
Melissa Salkeld, the 2021 Milken Educator recipient, is a kindergarten teacher at Prettyboy Elementary School in Baltimore County Public Schools, brings innovative practices to her classroom, with a strong focus on social and emotional learning (SEL). She has studied Conscious Discipline, a trauma-informed, evidence-based SEL methodology, and threads its strategies throughout her practice. She connects concepts to real life which helps students practice specific strategies, incorporate precise vocabulary, and demonstrate their learning. Ms. Salkeld often divides the class into small groups so the students can work collaboratively as she moves from table to table, differentiating to meet each child’s strengths and needs. As a member of Prettyboy’s school progress planning team, Ms. Salkeld helped design professional development for staff on responsive instruction, including developing data stories, exploring learner variability, and creating equitable learning environments.
Dion Jones, the 2022 Milken Educator recipient, is a third-grade teacher at Fairland Elementary School in Montgomery County Public Schools. Mr. Jones keeps students engaged by tailoring lessons and activities to their personal interests. Students work together to write a class newspaper featuring stories about each child. The relationships Mr. Jones builds with students and families are key to his success. Former students often stop to visit on their way to class, and Mr. Jones has shared his parent communication strategies with Fairland colleagues. Mr. Jones is a member of the instructional leadership and school improvement plan teams at Fairland. He supports both students and teachers at the school and district. Thanks to Mr. Jones’ focus on both academics and SEL, his students’ performance shines.
The recipients were accompanied to today's recognition ceremony by Dr. Darryl Williams, superintendent of Baltimore County Public Schools, as well as Dr. Monifa McKnight, superintendent of Montgomery County Public Schools.