Zsuzsanna Diamond Receives 2012 Milken Educators Award

Zsuzsanna Diamond was surprised to learn on Monday, Oct. 29 that she was selected as a 2012 Milken Educator Award. Shortly after lunch, Governor Mike Beebe, Dr. Tom Kimbrell, Commissioner of Education, and Dr. Gary Stark of the Milken Family Foundation greeted her in the cafeteria of Otter Creek Elementary with a $25,000 check.

Diamond teaches fourth grade at Otter Creek Elementary. Educated in Hungrary, Diamond has been teaching in the Little Rock School District for five years. She is recognized around the district as a passionate and creative educator with a special talent for connecting with kids. Her ability to foster an open, community type classroom environment has proven effective for students and has earned her the respect of her colleagues. In 2011, Diamond was selected as one of ten participants from LRSD to attend the Exxon Mobil-Mickelson Math and Science Institute.


"Great teachers change lives, inspire excellence and shape the future," said Commissioner of Education Dr. Tom Kimbrell. "They come to work each day excited to share their love of learning, knowing they can make a difference. They believe in their students and work tirelessly to help them reach their potential. But far too often, these dedicated educators do not receive the appreciation or recognition they deserve. The Milken Family Foundation is committed to changing that, shining the light on the profession and saying a very big thank you  to outstanding educators like Zsuzsanna Diamond for all they do every day "


The Milken award, which comes with an unrestricted payment of $25,000, honors exceptional educators for their work. Each recipient receives the award in a surprise ceremony. Educators do not apply for the award, nor are they aware they have been nominated for the honor.


This fall, about 40 educators around the country will receive Milken Educator Awards. The program has been administrated in Arkansas since 1991, and there have been 69 Milken Award winners so far in the state of Arkansas.