The 2023 class of Milken Educator Award recipients were greeted by public fanfare as they touched down in Southern California last week for a national forum held at UCLA June 5-7. Hailing from across the country, these educators gathered for the first time to walk the red-carpet, participate in powerful professional development opportunities, and to “Celebrate, Elevate and Activate” the American K-12 teaching profession.

Following his surprise notification in November 2023 Plymouth High School recipient Joshua Dingeldein received his unrestricted $25,000 cash prize from Milken Educator Awards Founder Lowell Milken and Milken Family Foundation Co-Founder and President Mike Milken.

“We are gathered to celebrate the achievements of 2023’s Milken Educators – those who have harnessed the potential to effect significant change and inspire their students to positively impact the course of our nation and the world,” said Lowell Milken. “Through the Milken Educator Award, we celebrate their achievements, elevate their practice with powerful professional development opportunities, and activate their capacity to make an indelible mark on the profession at large. We hope they will inspire many other talented young people to follow their lead and become teachers, administrators and specialists committed to blazing a path for future generations.”

This year’s Forum theme, “Unleashing Educator Leadership,” sparked a networking opportunity unlike any other: The 2023 recipients met with veteran Milken Educators and education leaders from across the country to begin their lifetime membership to the national Milken Educator network. Recipients learned about powerful mentoring opportunities through the Milken Family Foundation to expand their leadership and impact and to strengthen the Milken Educator Network within their home states.

In 2023-24, 68 Milken Educators were surprised with their respective Awards at all-school assemblies as part of the Milken Family Foundation’s Journey to the 3,000th Milken Educator. 2024 will reach $75 million in individual financial prizes spanning the length of the initiative and more than $144 million invested in the Milken Educator Award national network overall.