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Cash Awards For Top Teachers

By Telly Mamayek, NewsRadio 830 WCCO

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Two Twin Cities teachers received the "Oscars of teaching" in separate school ceremonies Tuesday.

The first event was held at Sojourner Truth Academy in Minneapolis, where master teacher Jennifer Mitchell was presented a $25,000 Milken Educator Award.

"I can't even believe it. My mom is going to flip the roof," Mitchell said, shortly after the ceremony.

NewsRadio 830 WCCO's Telly Mamayek Reports


Since she came to Sojourner six years ago, the students have made big gains in reading and math scores.

"It's been wonderful to see the increases in student achievement," said Mitchell.

The other Twin Cities winner was Carolyn Ruhnow, who teaches fifth grade at Rice Lake Elementary in Lino Lakes. She's described as an innovator who often takes her dogs to class to facilitate learning. Ruhnow is accomplished at working with a range of students from non-verbal to twice-gifted.

The cash prizes come with no strings attached. Mitchell doesn't know what she will do with the money, but she may use some of it to pursue a Master's degree in educational leadership.

The Milken Educator Award was conceived by Lowell Milken to recognize outstanding educators and encourage young people to enter the teaching profession.

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