Parent Teacher Magazine Gaston County Schools March/April 2018 - Page 9

Gaston County educator wins Milken award and $25,000 prize Meghan LeFevers of Bessemer City High School is this year’s recipient for North Carolina Gaston County Schools has this year’s recipient of the coveted Milken Educator Award. Meghan LeFevers, assistant principal at Bessemer City High School, received the prestigious national honor on Monday, December 18 during a school assembly program. The 2017 Milken Educator Award is presented by the Milken Family Foundation to recognize promising educational leaders. It comes with a $25,000 prize. The award honors LeFevers for her diligent work with students with special needs and students who are considered ‘at-risk.’ “I am surprised, overwhelmed, and very appreciative,” said LeFevers, who accepted the award from State Superintendent of Schools Mark Johnson and Milken representative Jane Foley. Johnson was among a full slate of elected officials, dignitaries, and others who attended the presentation, which was promoted as a visit from the State Superintendent to ensure that the award was kept a secret. The Milken honor is the second significant recognition for LeFevers. Last month, she was named the 2018 North Carolina Secondary Assistant Principal of the Year, an award presented by the North Carolina Principals and Assistant Principals’ Association (NCPAPA). “We have known it for some time, but now everyone knows that Meghan LeFevers is one of the best public school educators in our state and our country,” stated Gaston County Superintendent of Schools W. Jeffrey Booker. “We are extremely proud of her, and we are grateful to the Milken Family Foundation for its commitment to honoring exemplary educators across our great nation.” Booker added, “The Milken Educator Award recognizes Ms. LeFevers’ outstanding talent and contributions to the education profession and her ability to motivate students, be an effective advocate for them, and bring about change that is beneficial. She is to be commended for her efforts to ensure that all students experience success regardless of the challenges they face.” LeFevers joined Gaston County Schools in 2007 and has served as an assistant principal at Bessemer City High School since 2014. Prior to becoming an assistant principal, she was a science, math, and social studies teacher at W.C. Friday Middle School in Dallas (2007-2013) and spent the 2013-2014 academic year completing a North Carolina Principal Fellows internship at Bessemer City H igh School. A native of Cherryville, LeFevers graduated from Cherryville High School in 2003. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Appalachian State University in 2007 and a Master of School Administration from UNC-Charlotte in 2014. She completed her undergraduate and graduate coursework with ‘summa cum laude’ academic status and was inducted into the Kappa Delta Pi National Honor Society at Appalachian State. She also received the North Carolina Teaching Fellows scholarship. As an emerging leader in K-12 public education, LeFevers created professional development series about poverty and at-risk students and inclusion practices for students with disabilities. She has served as a presenter at numerous conferences and seminars, including the Winthrop University Inclusion Conference, the Conference on Education Leadership in Greensboro, the Council for Exceptional Children National Conference in Boston, and the National Principals Conference in Philadelphia. The awards presentation was Johnson’s first official visit to Gaston County since he became the State Superintendent of Schools in January. Johnson praised LeFevers for her development of a school-wide learning plan, innovative use of performance data to ensure effective teaching and learning, and her constant focus on what is best for students. The Milken Educator Awards program began in 1987, and it is often referred to as the “Oscars of Teaching.” The program’s goal is to reward, retain, and support the highest caliber professionals for the nation’s schools. Nationally, more than 2,700 K-12 teachers, administrators, and other school personnel have been named Milken Educators, and they make up the Milken Educator Network, which provides expertise and serves as a valuable resource for educators, school boards, legislators, and others in determining the future of education. Parent Teacher Magazine• March/April 2018• 7