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Middle-school mathematics teacher wins 2013 Milken Educator Award

Newly awarded Milken winner Marielle Emet poses with Commissioner of Education Deborah A. GistIn a surprise ceremony at the Blackstone Valley Prep Mayoral Academy Middle School, in Lincoln, Governor Lincoln D. Chafee announced this morning (November 8, 2013) that Marielle Emet, a mathematics teacher at the school, is the Rhode Island winner of a 2013 Milken Educator Award.

Ms. Emet, who also serves the school as an academic dean, has taught at Blackstone Valley Prep Middle School since its inception four years ago. As a Milken Educator Award winner, Ms. Emet receives an unrestricted $25,000 grant from the Milken Family Foundation.

Currently a Warwick resident, Ms. Emet was a Teach for America corps member in Baltimore, where she taught history and worked as a curriculum specialist. She holds a degree in history from Towson University and a master’s degree in teaching from the Johns Hopkins University. 

“Marielle Emet came to Rhode Island four years ago to make a difference in students’ lives, and she certainly has done so and more,” Governor Chafee said. “Her colleagues recognize her as a brilliant educator with intelligence, drive, compassion, humor, and warmth. She will represent Rhode Island well as our 2013 Milken Educator Award winner, and I congratulate her and the whole team at Blackstone Valley Prep on this honor.”

“It is wonderful to see that Marielle Emet’s hard work at Blackstone Valley Prep has led to positive results, with the 7th-grade students reaching 93 percent proficiency in mathematics,” said Eva-Marie Mancuso, Chair of the Board of Education. “Congratulations to Marielle on this well-deserved award, and I also congratulate the teachers, staff members, students, and families of Blackstone Valley Prep on their commitment to excellence.”

“Marielle Emet is known at Blackstone Valley Prep not only as an excellent teacher but also as a great leader,” said Deborah A. Gist, Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education. “Marielle leads professional initiatives for her colleagues at Blackstone Valley Prep and for teachers in the Central Falls district as well, which truly shows her commitment to teaching and learning for all Rhode Island students. I congratulate Marielle, her students, and her fellow teachers on this great award!”

“At the Milken Family Foundation, we believe that educators have the most important job in the country,” said Dr. Jane Foley, the Milken Family Foundation senior vice president for the Milken Educator Awards. “The Milken Educator Awards were created to say in a very public way that excellence in education must be recognized. By elevating the teaching profession, we hope that young people across America will be encouraged to consider a career in education.”

“More than anything else, great teachers are at the heart of what makes Blackstone Valley Prep Mayoral Academy successful,” said Jeremy Chiappetta, executive director of the school. “That the Milken Family Foundation is recognizing Marielle Emet as a 2013 Milken Educator is not only a testament to her incredible teaching skills, but also a celebration of every teacher at Blackstone Valley Prep.” 

As one of her colleagues said of Ms. Emet: “She opens her home regularly to her colleagues to plan instruction, offers precise feedback to peers, and motivates us all to persevere – with her enthusiasm and by her example.”

As another colleague described her: “She visits other schools and researches topics to broaden her skill set. She will meet after school, conduct home visits, or meet on Saturdays with students. She is driven to achieve the best results for all students.”

The Milken Educator Award 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 that they have been nominated for the honor.

This fall, about 40 educators around the country will receive Milken Family Foundation 2013 Milken Educator Awards. The program has been administered in Rhode Island since 1990, and there have been 72 Milken Award winners so far in the state. Many past recipients attended the award presentation at Blackstone Valley Prep. 

View a video of the surprise announcement.