5 honored educators win $25,000 each

October 04, 1994|By Suzanne Loudermilk | Suzanne Loudermilk,Sun Staff Writer

State school Superintendent Nancy S. Grasmick kept up the charade until the last minute.

She introduced the three teachers and two principals to an audience in the State House under the guise that they had been chosen for an education task force.

Then Dr. Grasmick told them the real reason for their trip to Annapolis yesterday: They were recipients of the annual Milken Family Foundation National Educator Awards.

"They represent the creme de la creme," Dr. Grasmick said. "They go the extra mile every day for our children."

The Milken award is a prize with a payback; the educators each will receive a no-strings-attached check for $25,000.

"I thought I was stunned a few weeks ago," said Linda Adamson, who was named Maryland's 1995 Teacher of the Year last month. She is a fifth-grade teacher at Mayo Elementary School in Anne Arundel County.

"Other than the day I got married to my husband, this is joyous," said Patricia Brooks, principal of Heather Hills Elementary School in Prince George's County.

The other winners are Patricia Skebeck, principal of Hall's Cross Roads Elementary in Harford County; Ronald E. Price, a Talbot County physical education teacher; and reading specialist Marsha Carr-Lambert of Allegany County.

The winners, lured to the Governor's Reception Room with ruses, all expressed surprise.

"I just spotted my mother and father," said an amazed Mr. Price. He said his principal told him to wear something nice because they were going out to dinner.

Mrs. Skebeck thought she was to attend a workshop with Albert F. Seymour, deputy superintendent of Harford County schools.

Ms. Carr-Lambert said her school superintendent "told me I was just riding along" to Annapolis.

This is the second year that Maryland has participated in the Milken awards, which began in 1987 in California. The program includes 150 educators in 30 states.

In addition to the cash awards, the Maryland winners will be honored at a state banquet Oct. 28 and each will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to an education symposium in California in May.

Most of them were too overwhelmed yesterday to discuss plans for their windfalls. But Mrs. Adamson knows exactly where some of her money will go.

"My first thought was the adult literacy program in Guatemala," said the Arundel teacher, who has worked with the Mayans. "A part of this [check] is going there."

Ms. Carr-Lambert directed the first of her two comments to her superintendent: "You're forgiven."

Then she told the audience, using sign language, "I love education."

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