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October 10, 2002

Contact: Bill Edmonds
Florida Board of Education
(850) 201-7130

Sarasota teacher receives $25,000 Milken National Educator Award

TALLAHASSEE — Education Secretary Jim Horne today announced that Sue D'Angelo, a reading, science and social studies teacher at Taylor Ranch School in Venice, is a recipient of the 2002 Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award.

"Ms. D'Angelo is an incredible role model for her students and fellow professionals," said Horne. "It is a privilege to honor her as a Milken Educator for her outstanding contributions to education in Florida."

Earlier today, Horne announced that Samuel Cassandre Pongnon, a fourth-grade reading teacher at Palm Lakes Elementary School in Hialeah, was also a recipient of the Milken National Educator Award.

Horne congratulated D'Angelo as the recipient of a $25,000 award. She will become part of the Milken Educator Network, which comprises more than 1,850 of the nation's most outstanding educators. As part of the award, educators will attend a professional development conference in Los Angeles in June, where they will have access to a variety of expert resources to help cultivate and expand innovative practices in their classrooms, schools and districts. The Milken Family Foundation provides the all-expense paid conference to educators as part of their award.

Dubbed the "Oscars of Teaching" by Teacher Magazine, the Milken National Educator Awards were created in 1985 to reward, retain and attract the highest caliber K-12 professionals to our schools. The program has become the largest teacher recognition program in the United States.

An independent, blue-ribbon panel committee appointed by the Florida Department of Education makes nominations to the Milken Foundation from which the final selections are made. Predetermined criteria for the award include:

  • Exceptional educational talent as evidenced by outstanding instructional practices in the classroom, school and profession.

  • Outstanding accomplishments and strong long-range potential for professional and policy leadership.

  • An engaging and inspiring presence that motivates students, colleagues and the community.

The Milken Family Foundation Educator Awards celebrates and rewards educators who make great strides in improving our educational system by:

  • Fostering professional development and career enhancement.

  • Encouraging Milken educators to shape education policy in their state.

  • Elevating the teaching profession through public recognition of excellence.

  • Encouraging talented men and women to enter the field of education.

For more information about the Milken National Educator Awards, visit