Principal scores award

It was an assembly like no other for Burnley-Moran elementary school principal Daphne Keiser, who says receiving the $25,000 National Educator Award yesterday from the Milken Family Foundation was a "total surprise."

The California-based nonprofit handpicks just 100 educators around the country each year to receive the award– Keiser (left, with superintendent Rosa Atkins) was one of two Virginia recipients. The other was a Chesterfield County fifth grade teacher.

As Virginia Superintendant of Public Instruction Billy Cannaday, Atkins, and the entire Burnley-Moran staff and student body looked on, Milken Family Foundation senior vice president Jane Foley announced the honor.

One Burnley-Moran second grader says that upon receiving the award, Keiser "cried for about five minutes."

It didn't take her much longer than that to figure out what she'd do with the money– though she's free to spend it any way she chooses.
"I've always said that if I won the lottery, I'd put it back into the schools," says 36-year-old Keiser. "I believe in helping the children reach their potential and be ready to take their place in society."

At Burnley-Moran, Keiser says, she'd like the money– which she'll actually receive at an April awards ceremony in Hollywood, California– to go toward a fully equipped science lab, a broadcasting studio, and expanding after-school club opportunities.

1 comment

She's giving the money to the school? Surely that qualifies for a new award!