JPS teacher surprised with prestigious award - - Jackson, MS

JPS teacher surprised with prestigious award

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Milken Family Foundation surprised a Jackson Public School Teacher with the $25,000 Milken Educator Award.

Tracee Thompson, an English and Language Arts teacher at Jim Hill High School in Jackson, was surprised with an unrestricted $25,000 Milken Educator Award during a school-wide assembly. This prestigious honor, the only one presented in Mississippi, will be bestowed in 2013-14 upon up to 40 of America's most outstanding secondary school educators.

"Reading is the key to success" is something that English teacher Tracee Thompson says daily to her 10th and 11th grade students. 

Thompson develops creative, engaging lessons that inspire students. Helping them to develop effective reading skills, she takes the time to tailor instruction to individual needs.

She introduces students to  new learning tools and methods by using strategies such as note taking, mnemonic devices and peer mediation.

Students consider her demanding, but they also know she truly cares that they're prepared to go on to college.

Her desire and devotion to help kids stay excited about learning has paid off. For the last six years, all but three students at Jim Hill High School have been successful on the English II state exam.

As a corollary to this success, the student retention rate has diminished.

Thompson herself has received the honor of being selected as a Star Teacher—a designation made by a Star Student, one who has achieved a high score on both college entrance exams and GPA.

Thompson's impact reaches far beyond the classroom. She chairs the Jim Hill English Department and is a member of the National Council for Teachers (English), the School Leadership and School Improvement committees, and is sponsor of the sophomore class and Drama Club.  She holds one master's degree in secondary education and is currently pursuing a master's in English, which serves as a role model for students and colleagues of the importance of lifelong learning.

Dr. Jane Foley, senior vice president of the Milken Educator Awards and a 1994 Milken Educator recipient from Indiana, introduced the awards ceremony.

 "Our public education system is at the heart of America's promise and essential to safeguarding the American dream for future generations," said Lowell Milken, chairman and co-founder of the Milken Family Foundation.  "With research confirming that effective teachers represent the single most important school-related factor in raising student achievement, it is important to honor them, learn from them, and inspire more capable people to enter the profession.  As the program's motto extols, the future belongs to the educated."


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