Deborah Siebern-Dennis, a 7th and 8th grade honors science teacher at Bode Middle School in St. Joseph, has been named the winner of a Milken Educator Award that includes an unrestricted cash prize of $25,000. St. Joseph School District officials called a surprise assembly for the announcement today. Senior Vice President Dr. Jane Foley of the Milken Educator Awards made the presentation. Commissioner of Education Margie Vandeven was on hand for the celebration and helped surprise Deborah.
“We are delighted that Deborah has received this recognition from the Milken Educator Awards,” said Commissioner Vandeven. “Deborah is a great example of the how the teaching profession enriches opportunities for Missouri students by promoting a love for learning.”
Deborah has been at Bode Middle School since 2006. She began her teaching career in Las Vegas, Nevada, after receiving her Bachelor of Arts in middle school education from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She also holds a master’s degree in educational science and educational leadership from Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville.
The Milken Educator Awards are given each year to outstanding K–12 teachers, principals and specialists who are furthering excellence in education. Missouri has been participating in the Milken Awards since 1996. Since then, a total of 46 Missouri educators have been honored with the Milken prize. Recipients join the Milken Educator Network, a group of distinguished educators fostering effective educational leadership.
Preparing, developing and supporting effective educators is a primary goal of Missouri’s Top 10 by 20 initiative, which calls for Missouri to rank among the top 10 states in educational performance by 2020.