Ashland University alumna Tiffany Tynes Curry, who received a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction degree from Ashland University in 2006, was the recipient of the prestigious Milken Educator Award and a $25,000 cash prize for her contributions to the personal development of students and teachers alike. Tynes Curry was the only Milken Educator Award recipient in Ohio this year, and the first from her school district since 2002.
Tynes Curry is a third grade math and science teacher at Weinland Park Elementary School in the Columbus (Ohio) City Schools. A respected teacher leader in the school and district, Tynes Curry sits on Weinland Park's Building Leadership Team and the district's School Improvement Team. She is known for her ability to gain the attention of her audience and lead productive discussions.
Milken Educator Awards Senior Vice President Dr. Jane Foley, Ohio Superintendent of Public Instruction Paolo A. DeMaria and Columbus City Schools Superintendent Dr. Dan Good presented the award to a very shocked Tynes Curry on Jan. 24, 2017, during an all-school assembly filled with cheering students, colleagues, educators, and the media. Tynes Curry and most of the people in her school were unaware she was receiving this award.
An emotional Tynes Curry addressed the assembly after her surprise Milken Award Notification. A graduate of Columbus City Schools, Tynes Curry told her students that math is key to their future. "I knew after I graduated and went to college that I would come back to teach in Columbus City Schools," she said. "We have a negative stigma that's placed on a lot of urban students, so I wanted to come back and show our students......that we have the potential to excel."
Her event was part of the Foundation's national tour surprising outstanding educators with the Milken Educator Award and its accompanying unrestricted cash prize. The Foundation is only honoring up to 35 recipients this year and it's the Award's 30th anniversary season.
The Milken Educator Award was conceived by the Milken Family Foundation (MFF) to attract, retain and motivate outstanding talent to the teaching profession. It is the nation's preeminent teacher recognition program, hailed as the "Oscars of Teaching" by Teacher magazine. Over the past three decades, the Milken Family Foundation has devoted more than $138 million in funding to the Milken Educator Awards, including $68 million in individual Awards to more than 2,700 recipients; recipients have access to powerful professional development and networking opportunities with leading education stakeholders.
Some important links detailing the exciting festivities of her surprise award ceremony:
News release from Milken Educators Award: http://www.
Full Biography with Event Photos and Videos: http://www.
The presentation included this brief bio about Tiffany Tynes Curry:
The third-graders in Tiffany Tynes Curry’s class at Weinland Park Elementary School aren’t just learning math: They are mathematicians who develop their own math theories. Mrs. Tynes Curry creates a culture of successful learning in her classroom where children believe in their abilities to think, consult and resolve their coursework with skills they can build upon. She prepares them with the “what” and “why” so students can evaluate “how” their next steps create solutions. Walk into Tynes Curry’s classroom and you’ll see students developing their own mathematical theories to solve problems, working with manipulatives, cogently explaining their mathematical reasoning, presenting their methodologies to the class, and both questioning and being questioned by their peers. Tynes Curry teaches the whole child: She pairs her third-graders with a pre-K class, giving the older children the opportunity to exercise both academic and social leadership skills. She creates deep, trusting connections with each student, often sharing pizza lunches with small groups in her classroom. Weinland Park’s fourth-graders turn in the highest performance in the division cohort for math and science, a result in large part due to the foundation Tynes Curry lays the previous year. She relies heavily on data to understand exactly where each student sits on the learning continuum. Tynes Curry is as passionate about teaching teachers as students. Prior to Weinland Park, she was a full-time teacher coach as a Teacher on Special Assignment (TOSA) for Columbus City Schools, developing teachers in math and focusing on school improvement. She coordinated “Intervention Fridays,” an opportunity for students to have conversations with faculty about academic struggles, including understanding the materials and goals of a given lesson. Tynes Curry also developed after-school workshops about the Ohio Improvement Process, in which teachers learned how to use data to inform their instructional practices.
Photo credit: Milken Family Foundation