Two Twin Cities teachers won prestigous Milken Family Foundation awards today. Both teachers are Augsburg College graduates.
Kelly Woods teaches at Nellie Stone Johnson Elementary in Minneapolis. Tracey Cross is a math coach at Galtier Science and Mathematics magnet school in St. Paul.
Woods is credited with helping raise the performance of students who had been below grade level. Cross is Galtier's building-wide math coach, known for what the Milken foundation calls "cutting-edge instruction."
The awards are made by entrepreneur Lowell Milken, who was in Minnesota today to recognize the two teachers. Each will receive $25,000.
Adrain Pendelton, principal at Galtier Elementary, said the recognition for Cross is well deserved.
"She has the ability to make her curriculum come alive. She makes it real for the students, where the students can relate to it and take it back to their world and integrate it," said Pendelton. "She has a way to bring parents out to the school to connect with them, to get in the classrooms and volunteer."
"I think the most thing is her passion," he continued. "When you walk into her classroom, the kids are attending to what she's doing, and her passion just comes out. You can feel it when you walk into the room."
The awards are often called the "Oscars of teaching," and they've been given out since 1987 to recognize outstanding teachers, principals and other education professionals. About 80 teachers nationwide are recognized each year.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report)