When English teacher Madeline Hanington attended the assembly at Gaithersburg Middle School, she had no idea that she was the guest of honor and that she would be the one Maryland teacher who would ultimately walk away with a $25,000 cash award. Surprised before students, faculty, staff, and elected officials at the Montgomery County public school, she accepted the National Milken Award from the Milken Family Foundation and Maryland Interim State Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bernard J. Sadusky. Hanington, a Reading/English Language Arts educator of 10 years, is free to use the cash prize in any manner she chooses.
"Governor O'Malley and I are thankful to the Milken Family Foundation for their continued recognition of Maryland teachers and the vital role that they play in preparing our future generation for success," said Lt. Governor Brown, who attended the assembly. "Teachers like Madeline Hanington have played an integral role in making Maryland's schools the best in the nation three years in a row, and I congratulate her for receiving this prestigious recognition."
"It is wonderful that this accomplished educator is one out of a select few across the nation to receive this year’s Milken Educator Award for quality education. She provides a model of excellence for the profession," said Dr. Sadusky. "I am particularly overcome by Madeline Hanington’s accomplished instructional practices and educational undertakings beyond the classroom. Her resolute enthusiasm for teaching Maryland’s students – from the development and implementation of initiatives that address overall student achievement to the coordination of data collection, and when essential, academic intervention – are vital to the indisputable success of Gaithersburg Middle School’s students."
The Milken Educator Awards recognize the importance of outstanding educators and encourage talented young people to explore teaching. The Award provides public recognition and an unrestricted financial award of $25,000 to selected educators who are advancing public education.
"Mrs. Hanington establishes high expectations for her students and holds them accountable for their learning and academic successes. Her radiant and positive outlook on life and things that matter to the students is infectious to the entire Gaithersburg Middle School community and a constant reminder of what a good and effective teacher looks like," said Carol Goddard, Principal of Gaithersburg Middle School.
"Her fundamental ability to get students excited about learning, as well as her innate gift to encourage colleagues to implement new strategies set her apart from other educators."
The Milken Educator Award’s visibility results in new opportunities for educators to improve education at local, state, as well as national levels. New recipients are invited to join the Milken Educator Network, a group of more than 2,500 distinguished educators and business leaders across the country, whose expertise serves as a valuable resource to fellow educators, legislators, school boards and others shaping the future of education while preparing world-class students.
BIOGRAPHY – Madeline Hanington
7th Grade English Teacher
Gaithersburg Middle School
Montgomery County Public Schools
Raised in a New York City housing project by Puerto Rican parents, Madeline Hanington not only was the first of her generation to attend college, but she also worked her entire way through school.
Hanington's students shine under her able tutelage. All 82 ranked proficient on the state test. She taught an academic intervention class for reading and math, with most of the class moving from basic to proficient in those subjects. Fortified by strong practices, leadership skills and achievement results, Hanington turned a school troublemaker into a model learner who later nabbed the Science Student of the Year award.
Using rubrics and exemplar papers to guide performance, Hanington incorporates "Lights, Camera, Literacy!"--a curriculum of Montgomery County Public Schools--to help students write scripts and produce videos that are presented to the community. Co-sponsor of the Junior National Honor Society, she also sponsors the Lunch Bunch book club and the Estrellas club for girls. A fixture in extracurricular activities, she even brought in Supreme Court Sonia Sotomayor to speak to students. And in the spirit of the great bard himself, she had students dress in period costume and perform Shakespearian insults.
Hanington mentors other teachers and shares her lessons across the district. An Achievement Steering Committee member, she assists with planning school wide assessments, is team leader of her department, and coordinates resources with other departments. She serves as end-of-year speaker and maintains her own portfolio to meet evaluation standards. Hanington also organized a math and science parent academy and covers classes so her fellow teachers can perform peer visits.