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Ayala High School teacher Alexis King receives prestigious educator award and $25,000

Hundreds of Ayala High students and staff, and local dignitaries thought they gathered in the gymnasium on Tuesday, October 10, 2017 to see State Superintendent Tom Torlakson honor the Chino Hills school for kicking off a sensitivity initiative.

The real reason for the festive celebration – featuring Ayala musicians, dancers, and other groups from the school--was a teacher who was standing high in the gym bleachers, watching over her class.
 
Ayala High English teacher Alexis King received a 2017 Milken Educator Award, and a check for $25,000 to use as she pleases. The award is considered the nation’s preeminent teacher recognition program, according to the website for the Milken Family Foundation that sponsors the program.
 
King, who grew up in a family of teachers, was named one of four San Bernardino County Teachers of the Year in 2016. She has spent six of her seven years as a teacher in her current position at Ayala High in Chino Hills. A Rancho Cucamonga resident, she attended Rancho Cucamonga High, earned her English degree and credential from Cal State Fullerton, and her master’s degree from Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego.
 
“I didn’t know I was going to have to speak in front of 2700 plus people,” King said as she accepted the award. “I am so humbled by this…I want to thank all of my great students, past and present.”
 
She also praised her fellow teachers for helping make Ayala High a high-achieving school.  “We are so, so blessed in this school because there are teachers here that are amazing and they care for their students and they want their students to be successful every day,” King said.
 
“More than 2,700 exemplary teachers, principals and specialists have been surprised with individual, unrestricted $25,000 prizes since 1987,” according to the Milken Family Foundation website. “Recipients are heralded early to mid-career for what they have achieved — and for the promise of what they will accomplish in the future. Honorees join the national Milken Educator Network, a group whose expertise is a valuable resource to those shaping the future of education.”
 
Founded by Michael and Lowell Milken in 1982, the Milken Family Foundation strives to discover and advance inventive, effective ways of helping people help themselves and those around them lead productive and satisfying lives. “The means most conducive to achieving these goals is through education,” according to the Foundation’s website.
 
Lowell Milken, who presented the award to King, said the English teacher came to their attention because of Ayala’s great achievement level. Milken said he knew there were probably many other teachers in the crowd that were equally deserving of the award. “I hope to be back here soon to present another award,” he said.
 
Milken also encouraged students to go into the teaching field. “Our country needs your contributions. Consider the adventure of teaching.”
 
The surprise award ceremony, also attended by Chino Valley Unified School District (CVUSD) Board of Education members and administrators, City of Chino Hills councilmembers, local and state officials, and past Milken Educator Award recipients, was livestreamed on CVUSD’s Facebook page Tuesday (Oct. 10). To see the ceremony, click on the following link: http://bit.ly/2g2jyT3