Chicago third-grade teacher receives national recognition

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Ryerson Elementary teacher selected for Milken National Educator Award                                                                                                                                           

 Chicago, IL – The Illinois State Board of Education and the Milken Family Foundation announced that Chicago Public Schools Teacher Dexter Chaney has been chosen as the Illinois recipient of the Milken National Educator Award. Chaney, a third-grade teacher at Martin A. Ryerson Elementary School will receive $25,000 as part of the award.

“Mr. Chaney’s wealth of knowledge on differentiated instruction and his expertise in using data to improve teaching and student learning has been invaluable to both students and his colleagues at Ryerson,’’ said State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch. “The Milken Family Foundation’s ability to seek out and recognize teachers of Mr. Chaney’s high caliber is very much appreciated. This award is an excellent opportunity to showcase a talented teacher who is striving to make a difference in students’ lives.”

A native of Texas , Chaney uses the manners he was taught as a child to model respect and engage his colleagues, students’ families, and members of the community. Mr. Chaney firmly believes that parental and community involvement is directly linked to successful learning.

Chaney is known for his pursuit of professional development activities and opportunities that help good teachers become better teachers. His dedication to continuously seeking methods that will best help students succeed has earned him the reputation of an outstanding mentor who has earned high levels of respect from colleagues, administrators, students and families.

“He serves as a role model to not only the children in his classroom, but to every child in the school,” said Lorenzo Russell, principal. “Dexter is highly visible to every student because of his tireless efforts, his work in the community, and his participation in after-school and extracurricular activities. Our students know they can count on him.

A teacher for six years, Chaney is known for his dedication to helping students succeed. Although school doesn’t officially begin until 9 a.m., Chaney is always at Ryerson by 7:30 a.m. to let children in any grade come to his classroom. Chaney provides tutoring if needed but more often, he provides an ear and a safe environment for the students of Ryerson.

The Milken National Educator Award is given annually to teachers demonstrating exemplary skills and a personal commitment to education.  Each winner receives $25,000 from the Milken Family Foundation which they can use however they wish. Dr. Jane Foley, Senior Vice President represented the Milken Family Foundation at Monday’s assembly.

This year marks the 24th anniversary of the Milken Educator Awards. Since 1987 more than 2,500 educators across the country have been awarded a total of more than $62 million in individual, unrestricted awards. Nationwide there are 55 educators being named Milken Educators this year.  Illinois joined the Milken Educator Awards program in 1988 and to date 108 educators across the state have been named National Educators.

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