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Mississippi educator awarded an ‘Oscar of Teaching’

PRCHS lead teacher Chayna Adams when she was surprised with a Milken Educator Award on Friday

A Mississippi teacher has been awarded what’s known as an “Oscar of Teaching.”

Chayna Adams of Pearl River Central High School was surprised on Friday with a $25,000 Milken Educator Award. The honor goes to early-to-mid career education professionals for their already impressive achievements, as well as for the promise of what they will accomplish in the future.

Adams, the lead teacher at PRCHS, was given the award in front of a gym full of cheering students, colleagues, and state and local officials.

“This is incredible,” Adams said in her speech. “I am only the educator that I am because of the Blue Devil family. Y’all have made me into the educator that I am and allowed me leadership roles. We have the best kids we could ever want to teach on this campus, so thank you for making our job easy.”

The Milken Educator Award is such an achievement that even Oprah Winfrey, a Mississippi native herself, sent her congratulations.

“For me, listen, teachers have meant so much in my life and what I know for sure is that as a teacher, you’re creating positive ripples in the lives of your students that will continue to impact them in ways you will likely never know,” Winfrey said. “I am so deeply appreciative for the tireless work that teachers everywhere do.”

To date, nearly 2,800 Milken Educator Awards have been given out over 35 years, totaling $70 million.


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