East Hardy High School English Teacher Michelle Wolfe was named the latest recipient of the Milken Educator Award award during a surprise presentation Wednesday morning, placing her among some of the country’s top grade school educators. The award is a national honor that recognizes some of the best teachers across the country.
The ceremony was the first stop of a tour where 60 notable teachers across the country will each receive $25,000.
Wolfe is the first Milken Award winner from Hardy County since 1994 and was chosen during a secret selection process. Her fellow teachers credited her for her leadership skills and focus on her students’ individuality.
“I am nationally board certified. That was a big accomplishment that I’d worked really hard for. And I thought maybe that was a big step for me. So this is something that I never dreamed up or envisioned,” Wolfe said.
Among those attending the event were former award winner and Milken Educator Awards Vice President Stephanie Bishop and State Superintendent of Schools W. Clayton Burch. Both noted the importance of the award for the state’s teachers, with Bishop saying the award has been a motivator for past recipients.
Wolfe says she wants to use the award to give back to her students and gain recognition for other public school teachers.
“I do really appreciate the opportunity to get to meet with other educators and to talk about how we can elevate the profession,” Wolfe said. “I really do believe in public schools, and so any opportunity to make things better for our students or our staff, I’m down for that.”