VBCPS - Charting the Course
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Sondra Woodward
Date: 5/04/22 Phone: 757.263.1797
News Release No. 006 Fax: 757.263.1010
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Virginia Beach educator earns esteemed national award

Kimberly Collins, an Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) coordinator at Virginia Beach Middle School (VBMS), was named a Milken Educator during a surprise ceremony at the school May 4.

"What an honor this is for Ms. Collins and our division," said Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VBCPS) Superintendent Aaron Spence. "In addition to her exceptional instructional skill set, she understands the importance of building relationships with her students, of establishing a mutual trust between them, and providing a safe, inclusive learning space for everyone."

Collins has been an educator for nearly a decade and serves as VBMS' first coordinator for AVID, a schoolwide program that helps prepare students for college and beyond. As a classroom teacher, Collins designs rigorous learning plans that challenge students' thinking and include regular goal-setting and opportunities for reflection.

"It is an absolute joy to observe in her classroom. It is student centered and a true example of the teacher as facilitator model," said VBMS Principal Paige Scherr. "Students are engaged, and, through the mentorship of Ms. Collins, they take ownership of their own learning."

The Milken Educator Awards recognize excellence in education by honoring K-12 teachers, principals and specialists with $25,000 unrestricted awards. According to the Milken Family Foundation, the criteria for selecting an awardee are:

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

To date, the Foundation has awarded $70 million and committed nearly $140 million to the overall program.

With this award, Collins joins 45 other Virginia teachers called Milken Educators since the state's inception of the program in 1999. The last VBCPS teacher to be honored was Recharta Walston in 2008, when she was at Seatack Elementary School.

Like all new recipients of the Milken Award, Collins will join the Milken Educator Network, a group of more than 2,800 distinguished educators and leaders from across the country, whose expertise and mentorship serve as a valuable resource to fellow educators, legislators, school boards and others who shape the future of education. Collins will be matched with a veteran Milken Educator, who provides one-on-one mentoring in preparation for future leadership.

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