A graduate of a collaborative teaching program offered at West Virginia University, recently told WVU students that “change takes time.”

But in just eight years, Lissa Dulick has received a major award for her innovative approach to teaching.

Dulick recently received the 2011 Milken Family Foundation Award, known as the “Oscar of Teaching.” The foundation awarded Dulick an unrestricted $25,000 in a surprise assembly at Weir High School, where she teaches English and reading.

In a keynote speech to WVU students in the College of Human Resources and Education Benedum Collaborative Five-Year Teaching Education Program, Dulick, a 2003 graduate of the program, talked about the value of her education.

“The Benedum Program at West Virginia University taught me the value of hard work,” she said. “You come along with your fresh, new ideas that Benedum sent you out into the world with, such as cooperative learning, differentiated instruction, peer editing, projects in place of traditional assessments, using the media and teaching with a white board. Just remember that change takes time.”

At Weir, Dulick helped the school increase language arts assessment scores by 10 percent. Through her guidance, one student shadowed a CNN reporter while another published writing content for an online newspaper. Dulick also created a language arts transition course that will be piloted throughout West Virginia schools.

Dulick, National Board certified in 2007, encourages parent involvement in the students’ education through a parent newspaper and by conducting an annual orientation for parents of incoming freshmen.

“(Dulick) has outstanding content knowledge of language arts and is someone motivated to do good work,” said Sarah Steel, WVU education professor. “She is a smart teacher and the quality of her work is evident.”

The Milken Educator Awards, established by Lowell Milken, seek to showcase effective educators and provide future opportunities for educational development and reform. Since 1990, 69 West Virginia educators received the award, totaling $1.725 million in individual awards.



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CONTACT: Christie Zachary, Human Resources and Education
304-293-5703, christie.zachary@mail.wvu.edu