Plymouth English Teacher Surprised With $25,000 Milken Educator Award

Photo: Milken Educator Awards

PLYMOUTH, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — When English teacher Michelle "Shelley" Terry walked into Plymouth North High School's gymnasium for a school assembly Friday, she had no idea the real reason why.

After performances by the school's marching band and a cappella group, Terry was surprised with the Milken Educator Award.

"The moment I heard my name, I honestly wasn’t sure if I heard the name correctly," Terry told WBZ NewsRadio. "I was in shock."

The Milken Awards honor up to 75 recipients across the country to recognize "early-to-mid career education professionals for their already impressive achievements and, more significantly, for the promise of what they will accomplish in the future," the awards website states.

According to awards officials, Terry was chosen for her creative approaches to her courses, her inclusive leadership and philanthropic efforts, and for inspiring students to enter the news field.

"Many Plymouth North High graduates can trace their success in English-related careers right back to Shelley Terry’s classroom. That is because in every endeavor she pursues, Shelley makes her message abundantly clear: Language is not only a passion, but also a way of life," said Milken Educator Awards Senior Vice President Dr. Jane Foley, who along with Massachusetts Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Jeffrey C. Riley presented Terry with the award. "Beyond the classroom, Shelley pours the same enthusiasm into leadership at the school and district levels and through mentoring other teachers. I am pleased to welcome her into our vast Milken Educator Network, where she will have a platform to broaden her impact."

The Milken Award comes with a $25,000 prize. Terry already knows what she is going to do with some of the money.

"I love to go to Disney, so I gotta say I’m going to Disney," Terry said.

Michelle Terry was not the only Massachusetts educator bestowed with a Milken Award this year. That same day, it was awarded to Andrew Rebello, assistant superintendent-principal at Diman Regional Vocational Technical High School in Fall River.

Rebello was honored for improving the school's graduation and attendance rates, implementing academic and vocational acceleration programs and initiatives, and forging strong and open relationships between the school and families.

WBZ's Suzanne Sausville (@WBZSausville) reports.

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