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An educator in the Northern Panhandle has received a national award.
Andrea Trio is the third Milken Educator Award recipient in the state this year.
Trio was recognized Thursday morning in a surprise ceremony at Madison Elementary School on Wheeling Island, where she is the principal.
Nationally, more than 60 awards will be distributed by the Milken Family Foundation this year, each including $25,000.
Trio said she is honored by the award, but hasn’t considered what to do with the money yet.
“I think automatically, children, that’s where my heart goes to,” she said. “I’ll certainly do a lot of reflection on that, and think about how I can just continue to make myself be the best that I can be in serving students each and every day.”
Trio thanked the staff of Madison Elementary, as well as her students, for helping her to achieve work worthy of the award.
“I have to thank you for believing in Mrs. Trio, because you are the reason that I do what I do each and every day,” she said. “When I promise to do my best as the principal of Madison Elementary School, I meant that with my whole heart, and I won’t stop.”
In attendance for the event were several former West Virginia Milken Award winners, including 2002 recipient Ohio County superintendent Kim Miller and 1993 recipient state superintendent David Roach.
Miller said Trio is exactly who the state wants to be representing them, and this opportunity will only help her grow.
“This will allow Mrs. Trio the opportunity to network with an amazing group of educators that are forward thinking, that will provide opportunities that she’ll be able to attain and come back and continue to grow as an educator,” Miller said.
Roach said that even 30 years on, receiving the award continues to inspire him, and the Milken group of educators will help elevate Trio’s work.
“We’ll be utilizing her with our principals in West Virginia, because of her expertise,” Roach said. “There’s nothing, no barriers that will stop her from whatever she wants to do.”
Trio is the 76th West Virginian to receive the award since its creation in 1987.