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2005 Milken National Educator Award Recipients

Mark Schreiber

By the time students complete Mark Schreiber's class, they've learned far more and had more fun than they thought possible. Whether they're building catapults in his pre-engineering class, improving the senior lounge or fixing staff members' computers, students learn from Mr. Schreiber the true outcomes of what they are learning. Dedicated to providing students with expansive learning opportunities, he designed an I2I (Innovation in Technology Integration) lab to help them gain a more comprehensive understanding and real-world view of the subjects they study.

Since arriving at Frontier Academy, Mr. Schreiber has demonstrated tremendous initiative in developing technology classes that are "hands-on and minds-on." For example, Mr. Schreiber created a Mock Mission to Mars that culminated in an imaginary field trip to the planet. Long after they've graduated, kids still talk about the work they did in his class.

Jane Vahle

When students at Bear Creek High School need to be pulled out of class for routine scheduling meetings, they ask that the meetings not cause them to miss Jane Vahle's class. What makes them value her instruction so much is her contagious excitement about knowledge and love of learning, backed up by sound pedagogical expertise and a differentiated curriculum that matches the material to individual student needs and learning styles.

Using artwork of the Harlem Renaissance to stimulate a discussion about describing images in words or linking fantasy football with literature to motivate students' interest in reading, Ms. Vahle finds creative and engaging ways to develop higher-level thinking skills. In her first year of teaching Advanced Placement English, she helped 75 percent of her students pass the AP test. Academic improvement is the norm among her students, and yet she continues to examine and evaluate her instructional methods, communicating with fellow AP teachers nationwide to see where she can do better. Ms. Vahle and two of her colleagues are considered model teachers throughout the district. No wonder students are reluctant about missing any of her classes.