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NTU’s Lagasca receives Milken Educator Award

Sarah Mae Lagasca, a Newark Teachers Union member who teaches music at the city’s Arts High School, on April 1 received a $25,000 Milken Educator Award.

On hand for the surprise ceremony were Dr. Angelica Allen-McMillan, New Jersey’s acting commissioner of education, and Dr. Jane Foley, senior vice president for the Milken Educator Awards.

“Sarah Mae is not only one of our nation’s best teachers, she is also an accomplished singer in her own right,” said Dr. Foley. “She has used her professional network in the arts to introduce her students to a variety of professional musicians, further inspiring and motivating them to pursue their own careers in the arts.”

In addition to the unrestricted $25,000 award, Lagasca becomes part of the national Milken Educator Network and will get to attend the next Milken Educator Awards Forum, set for June in Los Angeles.

First presented by the Milken Family Foundation in 1987, the Milken Educator Awards “provide public recognition and individual financial rewards of $25,000 to elementary and secondary school teachers, principals and specialists from around the country who are furthering excellence in education,” according to its website.

Candidates for Milken Educator Awards “are sourced through a confidential selection process and then reviewed by blue ribbon panels in each state,” per its website. The early-to-mid-career candidates deemed most exceptional are recommended for the award, and final selections are made by the Milken Family Foundation.

Photo courtesy of the Milken Family Foundation