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Special School District of St. Louis County

SSD Teacher Honored
with Milken Educator Award

therese shain receiving Milken awardTherese Shain, an SSD teacher at Bayless Elementary School in Bayless Schools, was surprised with the Milken Educator Award on Feb. 13 at an all-school assembly in front of cheering students, colleagues, administrators and Missouri Commissioner of Education, Margie Vandeven.

For 30 years, the Milken Educator Awards have inspired and awarded excellence in the world of education by honoring top educators around the country with a $25,000 unrestricted award.

The Milken Educator Awards target early- to mid-career education professionals for their already-impressive achievements and for the promise of what they will accomplish in the future.

As a special education teacher for third- through fifth-graders, Shain uses a variety of methods to meet the needs of her students in the special education and general education settings. She is dedicated to investigating research-based programs that will benefit her students.

“Once Therese finds a research-based program that will benefit her students, she seeks training,” said Betty Hardin, a teacher at Bayless Elementary, who nominated Shain for SSD’s Key to the Classroom award. “Then, she fearlessly implements it in her classroom. She meticulously plans her lessons and spends countless hours making charts, posters, graphs, or anything else that is needed to implement the program with fidelity.”

Shain is able to develop and identify necessary tools to promote positive academic growth including assistive technology supports. She implemented the Systematic Instruction in Phonological Awareness, Phonics, and Sight Words and Set Up to Writing programs in her classroom.

She seamlessly supports her students in the general education classroom by assisting and guiding necessary accommodations and modifications.

“Therese paces her lessons and adjusts them to her students’ needs,” said Hardin. “There is no student that Therese teaches that has not experienced success. She has high expectations for her students and they rise to meet those expections.”

Professional development is important to Shain. She strives to continuously improve her teaching practices by developing new methods for reaching and teaching students. Her accomplishments include serving on the Special Education Area Leadership Team for Bayless Elementary, and the SSD Professional Development Committee overseeing requests for funding.

Shain is an active member of the Positive Behavior Intervention Support team supporting all students at her school with behavioral interventions, including check in and check out and self-monitoring.

Shain represented SSD in the Missouri Regional Teacher of the Year Program for the 2017-2018 school year and was an SSD Key to the Classroom winner. The Key to the Classroom Award recognizes the achievements of SSD’s excellent educators. Teachers are selected for their creative approaches to student learning, innovative programming and commitment to student success.

To date, more than 2,700 Milken Educator Awards have been given out, totaling $68 million. In addition to the financial award, Milken Educators are given access to powerful networking and development tools throughout their careers in education. When combined, more than $138 million has been devoted to the overall program.

The Milken Educator Award is unique in that educators cannot apply for the recognition and do not even know they are under consideration. Candidates are sourced through a confidential selection process and then reviewed by blue ribbon panels appointed by state departments of education. Exceptional candidates are recommended for the award and final approval is by the Milken Family Foundation.

Published February 2019

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12110 Clayton Rd, Town & Country, MO 63131  /  314.989.8100  /  314.989.8552 – 711 (Missouri Relay)

Special School District of St. Louis County (SSD) is a leader in providing special education services to students with disabilities and also provides a wide range of career and technical education programs.
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