Phoenix educator earns $25,000 award for leadership guidance

May 15, 2022, 7:15 AM

PHOENIX — An educator in Phoenix won a national award and $25,000 on Friday for leadership guidance she’s displayed in her community, officials announced.

Jessica Zimmerman, an instructional coach at Valley View Leadership Academy, was presented the award along with the unrestricted cash prize at an all-school assembly that transformed into her Milken Educator Award celebration, according to a press release.

She became the second Arizona recipient of the 2021-22 school year and is among 60 educators nationwide who will receive the award this year.

“Jessica Zimmerman is a strong instructional leader who analyzes data to drive decision-making and develops innovative strategies to meet everyone’s needs,” Lowell Milken, founder of the award, said in the release.

“Beyond her school, she shares her expertise across the district — broadening her reach to the community. I commend Jessica for her daily work to create a collaborative, supportive learning environment for all.”

The shocked educator thanked her colleagues at the celebration, saying she felt like many of them were also exceptional leaders worthy of the award.

“The teachers need so much support and do so many amazing things for you students, and I’m just so lucky to be able to be a part of so many of your lives,” Zimmerman said.

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Phoenix educator earns $25,000 award for leadership guidance