William King, freshman class principal at Bowling Green High School (BGHS) in the Bowling Green Independent school district, is Kentucky’s newest recipient of the Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award and $25,000.
Education Commissioner Terry Holliday; Madeline Abramson, wife of Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson; Milken Family Foundation Vice-President Jane Foley and other dignitaries surprised King with the award Wednesday during an all-school assembly.
“This award is about bringing attention to our unsung heroes of education,” Holliday said. “Not only is it validation for the job they are doing, but also this award should be motivation and inspiration to all current and future highly effective educators.” Holliday said the message is clear, “We value you and thank you for what you are doing every day to ensure all of our students graduate from high school college/career-ready.”
King began his tenure as freshman class principal in 2010, and joined the school district in 2001 when he was hired as an administrative assistant. He has served as a BGHS social studies teacher and a curriculum coordinator. King earned a master’s degree and bachelor’s degree from Western Kentucky University.
“Educators like William King are making a difference for Kentucky,” Abramson told the audience of students. “They are shaping the future of our Commonwealth through their work with you – our young people, our most valuable resource,” Abramson said.
Among his accomplishments, King helped institute a schoolwide focus on literacy by providing professional development while modeling teaching in a variety of subject areas. He also created a “No Office Day” for school administrators, an initiative that moves administrators from their offices to classrooms where they teach and interact with students.
King is a member of the International Society for Technology in Education, the Kentucky Education Association and the National Education Association.
As Kentucky’s Milken Award winner, King received a check for $25,000. There are no restrictions on the use of the award — the winners may use the money in any way they choose.
The Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award provides public recognition and a cash reward to elementary and secondary school teachers, principals and other education professionals. The foundation established the educator award program in 1985, with the first awards given in 1987. Kentucky started participating in 1993 and, since then, 54 Kentucky educators have received the award. This year, the foundation selected more than 50 educators nationwide as winners.
The Milken Educator Network is a voluntary association of nearly 2,000 Milken Educators and other exemplary educators and business leaders from across the country who are dedicated to improving teacher quality and utilizing research and expertise to shape education policy at state and local levels.
The Milken Family Foundation was established in 1982 to discover and advance inventive and effective ways of helping people help themselves and those around them lead productive and satisfying lives. The Santa Monica, California-based foundation advances this mission primarily through its work in education and medical research.