Friday, October 08, 1999

Young teacher's work wins $25,000

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        INDEPENDENCE — Elizabeth McIntosh was mired in curing computers of a virus when she agreed to attend a school assembly Thursdaymorning.

        She didn't think to ask what the meeting was about.

        Once inside the Simon Kenton High School auditorium, Miss McIntosh quickly learned the reason. Kentucky Education Commissioner Wilmer Cody was there to announce the winner of the $25,000 Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award.

        “I assumed it would be a more seasoned teacher,” said Miss McIntosh, 25.

        Then she noticed her mother, Jayne McIntosh, and grandmother, Bernice Wilson, in the audience. Miss McIntosh said she thought it was odd that her family members were asked to come to the school, but again, she was so busy she didn't give it much thought.

Four Kentucky winners
        A third-year teacher, Miss McIntosh is one of four Kentucky Milken winners. The award is being given to 172 teachers from 41 states this year.

        Miss McIntosh is a health and physical education teacher who devotes much of her time to fixing, explaining and upgrading the school's computer network.

        When she started at Simon Kenton two years ago, Miss McIntosh immediately took a leadership role, Principal Michael Tolliver said. She coordinates the school's professional development workshops, which this year focus on technology.

        “We're very proud, very privileged, to have her here,” Mr. Tolliver said.

        Miss McIntosh is a graduate of Northern Kentucky University. She is working toward her graduate degree at Xavier University. She lives in Taylor Mill.

        The Milken Educator awards were created by the family of former junk-bond financier Michael Milken in 1985 to honor teachers with exceptional talent and promise. Winners must have strong, long-range poten tial to continue to contribute to children, the profession and society.

Added opportunities
        Milken Educators attend conferences in their home states and in California with past winners. The foundation's goal is to attract public attention to the importance of stellar educators and give those educators additional opportunities to improve.

        Other area winners include Virgil Covington, principal at Winburn Middle School in Lexington, Ky.; Bonnie Fancher, science teacher at Switzerland County (Ind.) High School; Alice Waits-Richmond, English teacher at Southern Hills Career Center in Ohio's Brown County and Dianna Lindsay, principal at Worthington Kilbourne High School in Worthington, Ohio.

        Ohio teachers Norma Howell, physics teacher at Wayne High School in Huber Heights and William Richey, chemistry teacher at Xenia High School, were also notified Thursday.

        Two other Kentucky teachers will receive the award today.

        Award winners can use the $25,000 in any way they choose.

        Miss McIntosh did not know what she would do with her prize. An easier decision, she said, was to return to her classroom for the next class period because, “It's what I love to do.”


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- Young teacher's work wins $25,000