MSU alumna wins prestigious Milken award
Rhonda Grindy, a math teacher at Minot’s Jim Hill Middle School, received the Milken National Educator Award Nov. 6. Grindy was surprised with the news in front of a gymnasium full of loudly cheering students, fellow teachers and administrators at the school.
"I’m speechless," Grindy told the crowd. She added that speechlessness doesn’t happen to her very often.
The award provides public recognition and an unrestricted financial award of $25,000 to teachers, principals and specialists who are furthering excellence in education. Grindy was chosen without her knowledge by a blue-ribbon panel appointed by the state department of education. Criteria include potential for professional and policy leadership, educational accomplishments, teaching talent and student performance, and ability to motivate students, fellow teachers and the community.
Grindy was the Minot Education Association’s teacher of the year in 2005-2006 and has received other awards throughout her career for her math teaching. She graduated from Minot State University in 1988 with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and computer science.
The math teacher told her students that they’re the people who make her want to go to work each day and do such a good job, so they’re the reason she’s won the award.
Grindy is one of 80 teachers nationwide who received the 2007 Milken National Educator Award, but she’s the only one from North Dakota this year. There have been 50 recipients in North Dakota since its inception in 1987, including Jim Hill principal Les Anderson, who won the award back in 1993. The awards are presented by the Milken Family Foundation of Santa Monica, Calif. Currently more than 2,300 educators have been selected and over $58 million has been awarded.
Grindy has been invited to attend the Milken National Education Conference in Los Angeles this spring. At the gala awards ceremony, dubbed by Teacher magazine as "the Oscars of teaching," she will receive the award and $25,000 check.