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Gresham-Barlow educator wins Milken Award

December 10, 2019

Rowell receives award

Student success translates into a $25,000 Milken Educator Award for Gresham High School teacher Julie Rowell

Gresham-Barlow educator boosts student achievement and future prospects at Gresham High School

Nothing is more important to Julie Rowell than removing barriers and expanding opportunities for students in Gresham-Barlow school district and specifically at Gresham High School. Rowell's English Language Learner classes engage students who typically have only two to three years of English, propelling them via group learning projects and individualized strategies that have them swiftly engaged in conversations. Her students regularly advance more than a year per grade, and Rowell helps put them on a pathway to higher education by deploying the student-centric Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) system. A fluent Spanish speaker and dedicated bilingualist who goes the extra mile for struggling students, Rowell also inspires learners with her high expectations and aspirational message of inclusiveness.

In celebration of Rowell’s teaching, the Milken Family Foundation honored her with a Milken Educator Award at a surprise school assembly this morning. 

Watch the announcement on the Milken Educator Awards Website

Milken Educator Awards Senior Program Director Greg Gallagher and Oregon Department of Education Director Colt Gill presented the award. This national recognition comes with an unrestricted $25,000 cash prize. Rowell is the only 2019-20 Milken Educator Award winner from Oregon this year, and is among up to 40 honorees from across the country.

"A teacher like Julie Rowell knows how to really connect with students and make an extraordinary impact," said Senior Program Director Greg Gallagher. “Her dedication, commitment and creative approach exemplify the inspirational leadership we seek in our Milken Educators.”

“Julie truly models the instruction and coaching we know will make a difference for our students,” said Oregon Department of Education Director Colt Gill. “Our state is strengthened by cultural diversity and language learning, and every day in the classroom Julie is at the forefront of this effort.”

Rowell also mentors the school district's secondary English Language Learner teachers to help advance their effectiveness in the classroom. She shares videos of her teaching methods with interested colleagues and utilizes video collaboration and other tools to increase student engagement.

“Julie is a stand-out educator who uses highly engaging instructional strategies to ensure English Language Learners achieve at high levels,” said Superintendent Dr. A. Katrise Perera. “Her willingness to share her expertise with colleagues has had a dramatic impact on our students.”

The Milken Educator Awards, hailed by Teacher magazine as the “Oscars of Teaching” has been opening minds and shaping futures for over 30 years. Research shows teacher quality is the driving in-school factor behind student growth and achievement. The initiative not only aims to reward great teachers, but to celebrate, elevate and activate those innovators in the classroom who are guiding America’s next generation of leaders. Milken Educators believe, “The future belongs to the educated.”

More information about Rowell, plus links to photos and a video from today’s assembly, can be found on the Milken Educator Awards website.