Alumna wins national teaching award, $25,000
An eighth grade social studies teacher at Lakeview Junior High School in Dracut was surprised recently during a school assembly when it was announced that she was the recipient of the 2009 Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award and a check for $25,000. Rebecca Duda, who received undergraduate and graduate degrees from Salem State, is the state's 37th Milken Award winner.
Known as the “Oscars of Teaching,” the Milken awards were established to provide public recognition and individual rewards to elementary and secondary teachers, principals, and specialists who are furthering excellence in education. Dr. Jane Foley, the senior vice president for the Milken Family Foundation, and Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester presented the award. “One of the best parts of my job is going into schools and seeing teachers who really inspire their students,” said Chester.
“Rebecca sets the tone for the kind of passionate and committed teachers we strive to have in every classroom in the Commonwealth,” said Governor Deval Patrick.
Lakeview Vice Principal Frank D'Addario noted that Duda takes a “creative” approach to teaching. He credited her energy and enthusiasm for motivating even the most reluctant students to understand, learn and appreciate history and social studies.
Duda receieved a bachelor’s degree in history from Salem State in 2002 as well as a master’s degree in education in 2004.
For more information on the Milken Family Foundation National Educator Awards program, visit the Foundation's Web site at mff.org.