Biloxi teacher surprised with $25,000 Milken Award - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Biloxi teacher surprised with $25,000 Milken Award

Mississippi Department of Education Mississippi Department of Education

This is a news release from the Mississippi Department of Education

Cagney Weaver, a 4th grade teacher at North Bay Elementary School in the Biloxi School District, was surprised with an unrestricted $25,000 Milken Educator Award,, during a school-wide assembly today. Weaver is the first Biloxi teacher to earn this prestigious award and is one of up to 40 recipients across the country this school year who will receive the honor.

Introducing the Awards presentation was Dr. Carey Wright, state superintendent of education, and Dr. Jane Foley, senior vice president of the Milken Educator Awards and a 1994 Milken Educator recipient from Indiana.

“Cagney Weaver has a gift for bringing educational lessons to life,” Foley said. “Her creativity, high expectations and dedication have motivated her students to succeed above school, district and state averages. I warmly welcome Mrs. Weaver to the Milken Educator Network, and look forward to following her exciting journey.”

In Weaver's fourth-grade classroom at North Bay Elementary, students at every level of learning are engaged, from inclusion students to the most gifted.

Weaver has immersed herself in training to teach the Common Core State Standards. She aligns her instructional practices to the rigorous benchmarks, creating relevant, meaningful lessons that support student success. She involves parents in their child's academic growth as well; for example, presenting a workshop on “A Child's Eye View of Common Core” in math and English Language Arts. With few exceptions, her students score Proficient or Advanced in Language Arts and Math on the state MCT2 assessments, and they routinely outperform their peers in the district and state. She deliberately structures class time to allow for individual attention whenever needed so that every student learns to his or her potential.

Multi-sensory activities including music, lyrics and body movement are an important tool in Weaver's classroom to help motivate students beyond the textbook. While studying colonial America, students churned butter and made wax candles; in math, students graphed large-scale coordinate planes on clear shower curtain liners. Utilizing interesting activities in support of the curriculum helps students to have fun learning, and encourages them to want to learn more. Projects are displayed in and out of the classroom throughout the year, and the standards to which they correspond are clearly explained.

Often the first person to arrive at school, Weaver even came to campus while on maternity leave to visit with her students. She recently completed a year-long National Board Certification, has participated in the Live Oak Writing Project, is on the school leadership team and supervises student teachers. A lifelong learner herself, Weaver models that essential trait for her students and peers, making the future brighter every day for Mississippi students.

“Mrs. Weaver's selection as a Milken Educator makes the entire state of Mississippi proud,” Wright said. “She is just one example of the thousands of Mississippi teachers who are using their talents to help students reach their highest potential.”

The Milken Educator Awards, conceived by the Milken Family Foundation to attract, retain and motivate outstanding talent to the teaching profession, is the nation's preeminent teacher recognition program, dubbed the “Oscars of Teaching” byTeacher magazine. Since 1987, the Milken Family Foundation has devoted more than $137 million in funding to the Milken Educator Awards, including over $65 million in individual Awards to more than 2,600 recipients plus powerful professional development opportunities and networking with leading education stakeholders.

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