Chicago teacher named Milken National
CHICAGO -- Rana Khan has had the same group of students
for three years and could not be happier about it! At
O.A. Sexton Elementary School Kahn’s class has “looped”
which means that as her students advanced a grade she
went right along with them. Therefore, her class is comprised
of students she taught in third grade, fourth grade, and
now fifth grade. The sense of continuity for her students
has made a real difference in their academic achievement.
According to Khan’s principal, Ginger Bryant; “Every
single student in Rana’s class scores are off the
charts, especially in math and reading. We see 2-3 year
growth in her kids.”
Rana has only been teaching for six years but in those
six years she has continued learning right alongside her
students. Since she is determined to help every student
become successful, Rana makes a point to pursue workshops
and professional development opportunities that will equip
her to better help her students achieve their goals.
It is this determination and initiative that led the
Milken Family Foundation to select her as one of two Illinois
recipients of the prestigious Milken National Educator
The announcement came as a complete surprise to almost
everyone in the crowded auditorium at O.A. Sexton Elementary
School on Tuesday morning. Using the premise that Arne
Duncan was visiting the school, an assembly was put together.
The reality was something on a much bigger scale as local
dignitaries, politicians, members of the State Board of
Education, and of course, Arne Duncan, took their places.
Then Lowell Milken, chairman and co-founder of the Milken
Family Foundation was introduced. A few people in the
audience recognized the name but the secret remained intact.
After a short speech about outstanding teachers and the
importance of education, Milken announced the real reason
for the assembly.
The prestigious award is given annually to teachers demonstrating
exemplary teaching skills and personal commitment to education.
Each winner receives $25,000 from the Milken Family Foundation
that they may use in any manner.
Khan’s dedication and passion for helping students
be all that they can be attracted the attention of the
Milken foundation and led them to Chicago. She’s
a natural born leader who is happiest working directly
with students. Her colleagues frequently seek her out
with ideas or to ask for advice on reaching students that
are struggling. She embraces collaboration and is eager
to do whatever it takes to help students learn.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Milken National
Educator Awards. Approximately 100 teachers in 48 states
and the District of Columbia will receive Milken awards
this year. Since 1987, over $56 million has been awarded
to more than 2,200 educators. New recipients will join
the Milken Educator Network, a rich resource of educators
and other influential leaders accessible to fellow teachers,
legislators, school boards, and others who are shaping
the future of education. 102 Illinois teachers and principals
have received the Milken National Educator award since