The College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences’ Department of Theory and Practice in Teacher Education (TPTE) offers excellence in education through their programs. Graduates of TPTE enter the teaching profession prepared to improve educational practices and become leaders in their field. Ms. Michelle (Shelly) Gaughan is one such example.
Michelle (Shelly) Gaughan, a kindergarten teacher at East End Prep School, was shocked to learn that a school assembly was really an award celebration for her. Gaughan was recognized for her dedication to her students and excellence as an educator by being awarded the Milken Educator Award by Tennessee Education Commissioner Candice McQueen and Milken Family Foundation Chairman and Co-Founder Lowell Milken. Along with the actual award, Gaughan was presented with a $25,000 check to spend however she wishes. Gaughan makes the fifteenth alumni from the Theory and Practice in Teacher Education at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK) to have been presented with the award. Of those fifteen alumni awarded over three decades, ten completed their BA, thirteen completed their MS, and three completed their PhD through our program. Gaughan earned her BA in Arts and Sciences with a minor in Elementary Education in 2010,and her MS in Elementary Teaching in 2011.
Gaughan is the kindergarten team leader and mentors novice teachers, developed many of the grade’s procedures and systems, and has led the kindergarten classes to some of the strongest student data at East End. She is known as a strong advocate for her colleagues and serves on the Sunshine Committee, planning activities to boost staff morale.
The Milken Educator Awards was conceived by the Milken Family Foundation to attract, retain and motivate outstanding talent to the teaching profession. It is the nation’s preeminent teacher recognition program, hailed as the “Oscars of Teaching” by Teacher magazine. For more than three decades, the Milken Family Foundation has devoted over $138 million in funding to the Milken Educator Awards, including $68 million in individual Awards to more than 2,700 recipients plus powerful professional learning opportunities and networking with leading education stakeholders.
Photo Credit: Milken Family Foundation