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For More Information Contact the Public Information Office:
    Jon Zlock
    Kathryn Forsyth, Director

For Release : October 26, 2005

Newark Teacher receives $25,000 Milken Family Foundation Award

When Camile Earle first noticed Reggie in her seventh-grade class, he was disruptive and unmotivated.  So the seventh-grade teacher started giving up her lunch period to get to know her student and earn his trust.

Within weeks, Reggie was participating in bake sales and going out for the basketball team.  That was in 1998, Earle’s first year of teaching at Luis Munoz Marin Middle School in Newark.  This spring, Reggie completed his first year of college at the University of Idaho, where he holds an athletic scholarship and majors in business administration.

“(Recently), Reggie visited Ms. Earle to thank her for all she did to help him believe in himself,” said Robert Crawford, vice principal of Barringer High School, where Earle now works.  “He found not only a teacher and a disciplinarian in Ms. Earle, but also a mentor and friend.”

The relationship Ms. Earle established with her student is one of many reasons that she was honored with a National Educator Award from the Milken Family Foundation today at a special assembly inside Barringer High School in Newark.  She also received a check for $25,000 and became New Jersey’s second award recipient this year.

“Camile Earle is the best example of what a teacher should be: dedicated, caring, and not afraid to reach out to every individual student in her classroom,” acting Gov. Richard J. Codey said.  “We are lucky to have teachers in this state who care as much as she does.”

“Teachers like Camile Earle are vital for our children’s future,” said acting Commissioner of Education Lucille E. Davy.  “Without good teachers, our students won’t be prepared when they enter the workplace.  With teachers like Camile, they will be.  That’s a testament to her ability and dedication.”

National Educator Awards are presented each year to educators in the state who are furthering the excellence of the nation’s schools.  New Jersey and the Milken Family Foundation are in the fourth year of their National Educator Awards partnership. Founder Lowell Milken, the foundation’s chairman, created the award program in 1985.

“Excellence must not be the exception in our schools, but rather the norm,” Milken said.  “By recognizing and rewarding outstanding educators each year, we focus the nation’s attention on the critical need to attract, retain and motivate caring, capable people to the American teaching profession.”

Earle graduated cum laude from Drew University in 1998 with a dual major in behavioral science and pan-African studies.  She taught in the Newark school district from 1998 to last year at Luis Munoz Marin Middle School before moving to Barringer this fall.

At Barringer High School, Earle is the literacy coach and works with students and teachers daily to identify student strengths and weaknesses and track improvement.  Her chief responsibility is to establish a curriculum that meets students needs inside and outside the classroom.   

“Ms. Earle is truly a dedicated professional educator,” said Fail Stephens, a literacy tutor and colleague.  “Her professionalism spills over to her students, colleagues, parents and community.  “She exemplifies the epitome of a great role model.”

The Milken National Awards Program, which honors teachers, principals and specialists in public education from kindergarten through 12th grade, has become the largest teacher recognition program in the United States. There were two (2) recipients in New Jersey last year, and two again this year.

Earlier today, eighth-grade teacher James Darden received a National Educator Award at Thomas Jefferson Middle School in Teaneck.

Unlike most teaching awards, the Milken Educator Awards have no formal nomination or application process.  Educators are recommended for this prestigious honor without their knowledge by a blue-ribbon panel appointed by each state’s department of education.

Candidates for the Milken Educator Awards are selected on the basis of the following criteria:

    • Exceptional educational talent as evidenced by effective instructional practices and student learning results in the classroom and school;
    • Exemplary educational accomplishments beyond the classroom that provide models of excellence for the profession;
    • Strong long-range potential for professional and policy leadership; and
    • Engaging and inspiring presence that motivates and impacts students, colleagues and the community.

Recipients are presented with unrestricted $25,000 award checks at the annual Milken National Education Conference, an all-expenses-paid professional development conference held in Washington, D.C.

One-hundred Milken Awards recipients will be announced this year nationwide.  Awards totaling more than $54 million have been presented since the program’s inception.  Forty-eight states and the District of Columbia participate in the program.

For more information about the Milken Family Foundation National Educator Awards, please contact the Department of Education Public Information Office at (609) 292-1126 or the Milken Family Foundation at (310) 570-4775 or