Two local teachers rewarded for their efforts with $25k checks

Story on Murray airing Tuesday, Barnum on Wednesday
Published: Feb. 7, 2023 at 4:34 PM PST
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SPARKS, Nev. (KOLO) - Lowell Milken’s foundation searches the country to find the teachers who have gone above and beyond. In return for their efforts, he rewards them with $25,000 checks. It’s an honor that is going to only about 40 teachers nationwide this year, with three being in Nevada.

“We really scoured the nation to find teachers,“ Milken emphasized.

Governor Joe Lombardo and Superintendent Susan Enfield were on hand for two presentations in Sparks on Tuesday. Both awards were given out in front of the entire school.

At Florence Drake Elementary School, Jason Murray received the honor. He teaches a combination of 3rd and 4th grade at the only school he has ever worked at and where he’s been for 19 years.

“I was shocked,” he said. “That’s about what I make in half a year. We just had a newborn so it couldn’t have come at a better time.”

Later in the afternoon, Milken went to Katherine Dunn Elementary to give the same honor to Liz Barnum, a third-grade teacher, who also said she was shocked upon learning the assembly was about her.

“I have a true passion for education,” Barnum explained. ”I don’t think I am doing anything better than any other teacher here I just really love it.”