Caddo principal surprised by $25,000 Milken Educator award | national news

SHREVEPORT, La. — Queensborough Leadership Academy principal Marco French was surprised Tuesday with the Milken Educator Award, which comes with a cash prize of $25,000 that he can use as he wishes.

French has already been recognized in the district for his efforts to transform the academic performance of his students and create an environment where everyone can thrive. This effort placed him among more than 60 educators nationwide to achieve the annual award this year. Caddo Parish’s last recipient dates back to 2015.

Milken Educator Awards Founder Lowell Milken was joined by State Superintendent of Education Cade Brumley to present the award to French before cheering on students, colleagues, state dignitaries and premises. French joins a nationwide network of more than 2,800 Milken Educator Award winners dedicated to strengthening K-12 education.

Milken said French has “achieved significant success by aligning all of his efforts with developing, motivating and retaining effective educators. Marco unifies his staff around a common vision of excellence and, in doing so, creates a collaborative and dynamic culture allowing everyone to excel”.

French leads the academy’s implementation of the TAP system for the advancement of teachers and students – a flagship initiative of the National Institute for Teaching Excellence (NIET). Master and mentor teachers work with French administrators and others to set goals, guide job-embedded professional learning, mentor educators in the classroom, and leverage faculty talents to drive student growth .

“As a former teacher, content coach and instructional coordinator, Marco French understands learning and leadership from many angles,” Brumley said. “These experiences clearly influenced his work as director; he is committed to the success of the Queensborough Leadership Academy community, where he continues to motivate students and staff and inspire the next generation of leaders.

French is the third recipient of the Milken Educator Award this season. Jay Weisman, a math and social science student at Benjamin Franklin High School in New Orleans, received the award Tuesday morning. Laura Laiche, a third-grade teacher at Slaughter Elementary School in East Feliciana Parish, won the award on Monday.

Learn more about Marco French

Building relationships: Every morning, whether it’s sun, rain, sleet or snow, French – known to the school as “The Bowtie Principal” – greets students as they enter campus. During the holidays, he puts on a Santa Claus costume and distributes small gifts when the pupils arrive. The rest of the day, French is rarely in his office; instead, he’s in the trenches with teachers in their classrooms, observing lessons, modeling instructional strategies, and working with small groups of students. French puts the needs of the students first. When he realized that many students were running out of warm clothes while waiting for the bus or walking to school, French partnered with Operation Warm and secured a coat for each student.

Increase student achievement: French has been instrumental in transforming several underperforming campuses into nationally recognized public schools. French has a “whatever it takes” attitude that has earned him respect in the building and throughout Caddo Parish. Queensborough earned an A in 2019 for student progress and was named Northwest Louisiana’s Outstanding School for Maximum Growth in ELA and Math. In 2018-19, Queensborough students outperformed the district and the state in overall growth, as well as performance for students of color, those who are economically disadvantaged, and students with disabilities.

Pedagogical direction: French has adopted the principles of continuous learning and leadership development of the TAP system through intensive, program-dependent coaching. A former teacher, content coach and instructional coordinator, French leads weekly instructional team leadership meetings with Queensborough administrators, counselors and teacher masters and mentors to build the leadership needed to support teachers through weekly job-embedded and one-on-one group meetings. management. He works with teachers and the management team to analyze student results and qualitative data from teachers throughout the year in order to make pedagogical adjustments. When COVID-19 closed the building in the spring of 2020, French quickly moved its instructional leadership team meetings to a virtual platform so the group could quickly help teachers adapt their teaching materials and lessons to learning. in line. He works to ensure 100% of teachers at Queensborough are Apple certified so students have access to the same opportunities with technology as their peers.

Impact on the neighborhood: A leader in the district, French frequently presents for teachers and principals in Caddo Parish on topics such as classroom management systems, data-driven decision-making, one-on-one support for struggling students, and practical mathematical strategies. When Louisiana rolled out tools for professional learning planning and program implementation, French invited state and district leaders to visit so they could see how the tools worked in practice. In the fall of 2019, it hosted leaders from Tennessee who wanted to implement a high-quality curriculum in an impactful way.

Community building: French prioritizes building a strong school community. It organizes bowling games and treasure hunts, as well as workshops for parents to learn how to support their students at home. Outside of school, he runs tutoring programs and is actively involved in outreach ministries through his church and local social organizations.

Education: French received a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Grambling State University in 2009 and a master’s degree in instructional leadership from Arkansas State University in 2015.

Learn more about the Milken Educator Awards:

In addition to the financial award, recipients of the Milken Educator Award join the National Network of Milken Educators, a group of more than 2,800 high-level teachers, principals and specialists. The network serves as a resource for fellow educators, legislators, school boards and others committed to excellence in education.

  • Winners will also attend an all-expenses-paid Milken Educator Awards Forum where they can network with new colleagues as well as veteran Milken educators and other education leaders on how to increase their impact on the world. education from kindergarten to 12th grade. Additionally, they will learn how to get involved in the Milken Friends Forever (MFF) mentorship program, in which first-year Milken Educators receive one-on-one coaching and support from a veteran Milken Educator on ways to raise their educational practice and to play an active role in educational leadership, policy and practice.
  • Over the years, more than $140 million in funding, including $70 million for individual cash awards, has been dedicated to the overall Milken Awards initiative, which includes powerful professional development opportunities throughout recipients’ careers.
  • Milken’s veteran educators frequently hold leadership positions nationally, nationally and internationally.
  • “We find you. You can’t find us! Unlike most teacher recognition programs, the Milken Educator Awards initiative does not have a formal nomination or application process. Applicants are selected through a confidential screening process and then vetted by blue ribbon committees in each state. The most outstanding nominees are recommended for the award, with the final selection being made by the Milken Family Foundation.
  • The cash prize of $25,000 is unlimited. The recipients used the money in various ways. For example, some have spent the funds on further education for their children or on their own education, funding dream excursions, creating scholarships, and even adopting children.

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