Woodholme Elementary teacher gets $25,000 surprise as Maryland’s only Milken Award winner

Surrounded by his students, McKinley Broome celebrates his Milken Award

A fourth-grade teacher from Woodholme Elementary School in Owings Mills was named January 12 as Maryland’s only 2011 recipient of the prestigious $25,000 Milken Educator Award.

McKinley Broome, a teacher for six years in Baltimore County, learned of the award during a school-wide assembly and academic pep rally hosted by Baltimore County Superintendent Dr. Joe A. Hairston and State Superintendent of Schools Dr. Nancy S. Grasmick.

The 28-year-old Owings Mills resident seemed stunned when Grasmick announced his name to a raucous gymnasium full of Woodholme staff, dignitaries from across Baltimore County, past Milken winners, and the school’s 820 cheering students. The national award comes with a $25,000 prize and participation in a national education conference in Los Angeles in the spring.

McKinley Broome reacts to his name being called as the 2011 Milken Award winner.
Broome laughs with students as an oversized check is unfurled.
Broome talks with media following the announcement.
Students swarmed McKinley Broome following the announcement.
(From left): Dr. Joe Hairston, MSDE Milken coordinator Darla Strouse, McKinley Broome, Dr. Nancy Grasmick, Dr. Jane Foley of the Milken Family Foundation.

“It is wonderful that this exemplary educator is one of 55 new teachers
across the country to receive a Milken Educator Award,” said Dr. Grasmick. “I am extremely impressed by McKinley Broome’s long range instructional leadership and efforts. His visible dedication and enthusiasm for teaching Maryland’s young – from providing professional development to his fellow colleagues to playing an intricate role in the elevation of MSA scores – are paramount to the undeniable success of Woodholme Elementary School’s students.”

Broome’s honor makes him the only educator in Maryland to receive a Milken in 2011. Hailed as the “Oscars of Teaching” by Teacher Magazine, the Milken Educator Awards recognize the importance of outstanding educators and encourage young people to enter teaching.

“McKinley Broome demonstrates the high level of talent and dedication we expect from all our teachers,” said Dr. Hairston. “His well-deserved honor reflects on all of our teachers and on the importance of having creative, dynamic educators in every classroom.”

A fourth-grade teacher and sixth-year educator, Broome has already captured Rookie Teacher of the Year honors from the Teachers Association of Baltimore County and been a finalist for the countywide Teacher of the Year. He has been nominated for four straight years for the Baltimore County Chamber of Commerce’s Award for Excellence, Broome has been a curriculum presenter for new teachers, a pilot teacher for the school system, and a teacher mentor. A graduate of Towson and Salisbury universities, he decided to teach fourth graders in college because he believes it’s at that age that children begin to become more independent and receptive to the impressions they receive from the world around them.

Broome is the first Milken Award winner from Baltimore County since 2005 and 2004, when Kelly Smith of Dulaney High School and Deirdre Austen of Lutherville Laboratory were honored with back-to-back recognitions.
The largest teacher recognition program in the nation, the Milken Awards provide public recognition and an unrestricted financial award of $25,000. He will also receive an all-expenses paid trip to Los Angeles in the spring to participate in the Milken Educator Forum.

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