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February 25, 2005

Vivian Myrtetus
(850) 245-0413

Commissioner John Winn Congratulates Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award Winner Samta Khanna
West Gate Elementary School ESOL teacher reaps $25,000 reward for exceptional performance and leadership

WEST PALM BEACH — Commissioner John Winn today congratulated Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award Winner Samta Khanna, a 4th grade writing teacher for ESOL students. During a surprise presentation at West Gate Elementary School, Ms. Khanna was presented the $25,000 Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award by Milken Family Foundation Co-Founder Mike Milken and Deputy Chancellor for Educator Quality Pamela Stewart.

"Ms. Khanna sets an example for all to follow," said Education Commissioner John Winn. "Because of the dedication and commitment to her students, they surpass expectations and score top marks on their writing tests."

Ms. Khanna uses shadow plays to integrate language skills and provide an alternative method of monitoring and assessing the progress of second-language learners. A National Board Certified Teacher, Ms. Khanna also recruits and supports teachers undergoing the national certification process.

The Milken Family Foundation recognizes outstanding K-12 educators who are furthering excellence in education with a reward of $25,000. Mullins is one of 2000 teachers, principals, and specialists recognized in Florida with this award since its start in 1985. Recipients of this award are chosen among elementary and secondary school professionals based on the following criteria:

  • Exceptional educational talent as evidenced by outstanding instructional practices in the classroom, school and profession;
  • Outstanding accomplishment and strong long-range potential for professional and policy leadership; and
  • Engaging and inspiring presence that motivates and impacts students, colleagues and the community.

For more information on the Milken Educator Awards, please visit