North Idaho teacher earns $25,000 award

A Spirit Lake high school teacher was awarded Idaho’s 2013 Milken Educator Award in a surprise assembly Friday morning. (Click here to see the video or the surprise).

Katie Graupman
Katie Graupman

Katie Graupman, an English teacher at Timberlake High School, went to the gym with her students to participate in a schoolwide assembly — which she thought was being held to celebrate the school’s academic track record.

During the assembly, Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna and Jane Foley of the Milken Family Foundation unexpectedly announced that Graupman had been named Idaho’s Milken educator, which comes with a $25,000 award.

Lowell Milken conceived the Milken Educator Award to attract, retain and motivate outstanding talent to the teaching profession. Since 1987, the Milken Family Foundation has devoted more than $136 million to the Milken Educator Awards, including over $64 million in individual awards to nearly 2,600 recipients, plus professional development opportunities and networking with leading education stakeholders.

Graupman is one of 15 Idaho educators who have received the award since Idaho joined the Milken program in 2003.

Graupman, who has taught for 10 years, was selected for her innovation, leadership and ability to raise academic achievement. Last year, 98 percent of Graupman’s students were proficient on the ISAT, up from 90 percent last year.

Students gave Graupman a standing ovation during the assembly.

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“Thank you for the job I get to do every day,” she told her students. “Thank you for being the reason I get up and come to work every day.”

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