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Teacher surprised with $25,000 during school assembly

| April 14, 2022
Midvale Elementary kindergarten teacher Kristen Maurer received a Milken Educator Award and a check for $25,000 during an assembly at the school Thursday morning. (Submitted photo)

MIDVALE (WJER) (April 14, 2022) – Midvale Elementary teacher Kristen Maurer got the surprise of her life today when she received a prestigious teaching award and a check for $25,000.

It happened in the school’s gymnasium where students and staff had gathered for what they were told was going to be an assembly for a school leadership program. Maurer, who teaches kindergarten, was shocked but thankful. 

“This is my world. Teaching is my world, and I’m just very blessed with this opportunity, and I just thank all of you, and all of you guys make my job the best job in the world, so I’m very blessed. Thank you very much!”

The award from the Milken Family Foundation honors elementary and secondary school teachers, principals, and specialists furthering excellence in education. Maurer is among 60 educators nationwide receiving one this school year and can spend the money however she likes. Principal Ryan Wells joked that it couldn’t have come at a better time.

“Yesterday, I was talking to Mrs. Maurer and she’s like, ‘I’m kind of down and sad.’ ‘What’s wrong, Maurer?’ ‘Well, the engine in my car just blew.’ And what a God thing!”

The Milken Family Foundation since 1987 has surprised more than 2,800 educators with these awards, which have been hailed as the “Oscars of Teaching.” Recipients are selected by panelists appointed by their state’s department of education and also get an all-expenses-paid trip to Los Angeles. 

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