Jose Martinez on Tuesday (credit: Milken Family Foundation)

Jose Martinez on Tuesday (credit: Milken Family Foundation)

LAKEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4) – A teacher at Bear Creek High School joined an elite group on Tuesday by winning a national award.

The Milken Educator Awards are given to approximately “extraordinary educators” around the country, and on Tuesday morning teacher Jose Martinez was surprised with the announcement that he was selected during an assembly at the Lakewood school.

Jeffco Schools Superintendent Dr. Cindy Stevenson and Milken Family Foundation Chairman Lowell Milken called Martinez a leader, a mentor to his students and a positive force in his classroom and in his community.

Martinez teaches social studies, civics and economics and says that he just loves teaching.

“Teaching is different every day. Even though I’ve used some of the same lessons over and over again, kids never ask the same questions,” Martinez said. “I think that it challenges me. It’s a scary feeling when kids ask you something and you (don’t know the answer). I think it’s just that I like learning.”

The prize comes with a $25,000 check that Martinez can use however he chooses.

More About The Award

The Milken Family Foundation website lists the following criteria for the award:

– Exceptional educational talent as evidenced by effective instructional practices and student learning results in the classroom and school;

– Exemplary educational accomplishments beyond the classroom that provide models of excellence for the profession;

– Individuals whose contributions to education are largely unheralded yet worthy of the spotlight;

– Early- to mid-career educators who offer strong long-range potential for professional and policy leadership; and
Engaging and inspiring presence that motivates and impacts students, colleagues and the community.


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