Dual Language Student Success Leads to $25,000 Milken Educator Award for Teacher Susan Moreno

Dec 12, 2019 | Alumni News, Curriculum and Instruction

In Susan Moreno’s classroom at J.L. Long Middle School in Dallas, Spanish and English are used interchangeably.

However, the University of Arkansas graduate was momentarily speechless in both languages at a surprise school assembly recently where she was presented with a 2019-20 Milken Educator Award. As part of the award, she won an unrestricted $25,000 cash prize.

Susan Moreno, Milken Family Foundation photo

Milken Family Foundation photo

Moreno earned her bachelor’s degree in Spanish and Latin American Studies in 2013 from the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences at the U of A and a Master of Arts in Teaching degree in secondary education from the College of Education and Health Professions at the university in 2014.

Dual language students under Moreno’s tutelage gain an advantage, outperforming their general education peers on state assessments, according to a press release from Milken. The release also notes that Moreno is a master teacher who constantly challenges students to exceed expectations and develops student teamwork in project-based learning activities that promote bilingual excellence. Moreno also mentors and encourages other dual language classroom teachers in her school, using the curriculum she helped develop for the Dallas Independent School District.

Milken Educators are selected in early to mid-career for what they have achieved and for the promise of what they will accomplish. In addition to the $25,000 prize and public recognition, the honor includes membership in the National Milken Educator Network, a group of more than 2,700 top teachers, principals, and specialists dedicated to strengthening education.

In addition to participation in the Milken Educator Network, 2019-20 recipients will attend a Milken Educator Forum in Indianapolis March 26-28, 2020, where they will network with their new colleagues and exchange ideas with state and federal leaders on the future of education. In addition, the Milken Educator Awards’ “Why Not Us” program will pair each 2019-20 recipient with a veteran Milken Educator mentor to explore and prepare for expanded leadership roles that strengthen education practice and policy.

The first Milken Educator Awards were presented by the Milken Family Foundation in 1987.