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Annapolis High Teacher Earns an A … and $25K

Surprised Allison Felton wins the Oscar of Education
photo by Paul Bliese for the Milken Family Foundation Algebra teacher Allison Felton can hardly believe it: She is the recipient of Maryland’s 2017-18 Milken Educator Award, and a $25,000 check with her name on it!
        “Could it be me …” Allison Felton wondered in amazement as eyes turned her way in the Annapolis High School auditorium Wednesday, January 24. “When I first started teaching, I really questioned whether teaching was for me, but thanks to support from my colleagues I decided to stick with it,” she said through tears.
         Felton, an algebra teacher at Annapolis High School, had just found out she was the winner of the $25,000 Milken Educator Award.
       Dubbed the Oscar of Education, the award came out of the blue. Teachers cannot apply themselves and don’t even know that they’re in the running.
      The Milken Family Foundation has invested $138 million to improve teaching, with $68 million going to 2,700 individual Milken Educators, including Allison Felton and 43 others this year.
       Like all winners, Felton was surprised, having come for what she thought was simply a boisterous school-wide assembly with cheering students, respected colleagues and distinguished officials. Gov. Larry Hogan joined the celebration, along with Foundation cofounder Mike Milken, a former teacher, who makes math fun for inner-city students. 
       Felton is a “fantastic, outstanding educator,” said Sue Chittim, principal of Annapolis High School. “She develops the whole child and is very passionate about moving children forward in a rigorous environment. This is why we nominated her.”
       Students agree. She made “ninth grade algebra a lot easier,” says former student Gabriella Rene “using squiggles, circles and zigzags.”