MT. JULIET, Tenn. (WTVF) — Mt. Juliet Middle School eighth grade social studies teacher Tyler Hallstedt was awarded a Milken Educator Award on Thursday, which includes an unrestricted $25,000 cash prize to be used however he chooses.
The prestigious award honors educators who make a profound difference for students, colleagues and communities. It is so nationally recognized that even Oprah shared her congratulations to this year's recipients in a video message thanking "the most incredible educators around the country" for the "tireless work" they do.
Hallstedt is the first Award recipient from Wilson County Schools to join the 2,800 educators and leaders that form the national Milken Educator Network, a network dedicated to strengthening K-12 education.
“Engagement and enthusiasm are evident in Tyler Hallstedt’s classroom," said Milken Educator Awards Senior Vice President Dr. Jane Foley, a Milken Educator from Indiana’s 1994 class. "Tyler not only brings history to life for his students, but also deepens their understanding as productive citizens.”
“His ability to guide higher-order thinking and make connections across the curriculum has served him well as a leader in professional learning at the school and district levels. I congratulate Tyler and welcome him into the national Milken Educator Network of excellence,” Foley said.
Tennessee Governor Bill Lee and Education Commissioner Dr. Penny Schwinn joined Foley to present Hallstedt with the recognition.
“Tennessee’s educators play a critical role in ensuring students are prepared for life beyond the classroom,” said Lee. “I commend Tyler for the profound impact he’s made on the Wilson County community and congratulate him on this high honor.”
Milken Educator Awards are sometimes hailed as the "Oscars of Teaching," and are designed to herald teachers for their early to mid-career achievements, recognizing the promise of what they will accomplish given the resources and opportunities inherent in the award.
More than 60 educators across the country will receive the honor during the 2021-2022 season.
“Parents hope that their students' teacher can help inspire a love of learning, and in his Mt. Juliet Middle School classroom, Tyler Hallstedt truly brings social studies to life,” said Schwinn. "Whether students are writing letters in historical contexts or studying the political process, Mr. Hallstedt has a creative, inspirational and passionate approach to his work that helps him connect with his students and support their learning in a meaningful way. Congratulations to Mr. Tyler Hallstedt for this prestigious recognition of becoming a Milken Educator.”
You can view the moment Hallstedt received the award in the YouTube video below: