GREENWOOD – The Indiana Department of Education and the Milken Family Foundation today surprised Angela Fowler, a fourth-grade math teacher at Grassy Creek Elementary in Johnson County, with the prestigious Milken Educator Award – which comes with a prize of $25,000 from the foundation.
“Miss Angela Fowler’s passion for her students shines as she continuously leads innovative work to help her students to build math skills,” said Dr. Katie Jenner, Indiana Secretary of Education. “Whether she’s engaging with families during a math night, helping students build their confidence through the Girls on the Run club, or mentoring new teachers, Angela is constantly leading work that positively impacts our students’ futures. Great teachers change lives, and there’s no doubt that Angela is changing lives for the better, both inside and outside the classroom.”
The Milken Educator Awards celebrate, elevate and activate the American teaching profession and inspire young, capable people to join it. The Milken Educator Award is not a lifetime achievement honor. Recipients are heralded while early to mid-career for what they have achieved — and for the promise of what they will accomplish given the resources and opportunities earned from the award.
“Exceptional educators engage their students through creativity and leadership, and Angela Fowler embodies these qualities in her classroom each day,” said Dr. Jane Foley, senior vice president of the Milken Educator Awards and a Milken Educator from Indiana’s 1994 class. “Her care and compassion create an environment where every student feels welcomed, valued and motivated to learn. I am proud to welcome Angela into our Milken Educator Award family and look forward to the contributions she will bring to our national network.”
Through a focus on problem solving, Fowler’s leadership at Grassy Creek Elementary has helped her students dramatically grow their mastery of fourth grade math concepts throughout the school year. She does this by providing extra support to her students through small group instruction, after school tutoring and engaging students with “number talks” that help them understand patterns in problem solving.
In addition to the extra support for her students, Fowler also supports families and her fellow educators. Fowler plans math nights for families to learn about the school’s math curriculum. She also serves as the curriculum representative for fourth grade and leads the school’s math professional learning community – supporting other teachers with professional development and workshops on how to better engage students in math concepts.
Beyond her work in the classroom, Fowler is also focused on building positive relationships with her students. Fowler leads Grassy Creek’s Girls on the Run club, which helps her students build confidence, kindness and decision-making skills. She also co-chairs her school’s Riley Week initiative, which raises money and awareness for Riley Hospital for Children.
“Miss Fowler is a shining example of what our teachers can accomplish each day and the profound impact they have on students and communities,” said Dr. Patrick Spray, superintendent of Clark-Pleasant Community School Corporation. “The Milken Award is reserved as a very prestigious award for educators across the United States and we are very proud that one of our teachers was honored by this award.”