Secaucus teacher one of just 44 in the country to win $25k educator award

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A Secaucus middle school teacher became just one of 44 in the country to win a $25,000 Milken Educator Award earlier today.

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Toni Ann Palmisano, who encourages her students to make math music videos, was the surprise award recipient this morning when she received a jumbo-sized check from New Jersey Commissioner of Education Kimberley Harrington and Milken Educator Awards Senior Vice President Dr. Jane Foley.

An elated Palmisano was named a 2017-18 recipient of the national recognition, which comes with an unrestricted $25,000 cash prize.

Palmisano is the second Milken Educator Award winner from New Jersey this year, and is among the 44 honorees for 2017-18.

The Milken Educator Awards are hailed by Teacher magazine as the “Oscars of Teaching.”

In addition to being engaged in the classroom, Palmisano is also involved with the student government and the school yearbook.

A mentor for novice teachers and a seasoned veteran who helped rewrite the district’s math curriculum, she is not only helping create well-rounded students but also a more well-rounded school.

“Toni Ann Palmisano leads by doing, giving students practical hands-on experience with real world mathematics,” Foley said in a statement.

“Her focus on the whole student and, by extension, the complete educational experience is what brings her subject to life and lights a fire in her young math students that can last a lifetime. It is the kind of inspirational leadership we love to see in our Milken Educators.”

Secaucus Superintendent of Schools Jennifer Montesano was equally pleased with Palmisano’s efforts. 

“Ms. Palmisano is also a mentor to new teachers and has been credited for amending the current curriculum for the mathematics department. Ms. Palmisano is also an educational leader, having presented at the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Regional Conference. It’s an honor to be part of sharing such an award with a true educational leader.”