COLUMBUS, Ga. — Teaching is paying off for one local educator. A host of state leaders stopped by Double Churches Elementary School Wednesday to honor fifth grade teacher Eric Crouch. Crouch finds himself in close company, as just 34 other teachers nationwide received the Milken Educator Award.
Dr. Jane Foley represented the Milken Foundation in bestowing the award to Crouch during a morning assembly. Crouch was not aware of the honor. But Georgia First Lady Sandra Deal, Georgia Schools Superintendent Richard Woods, Muscogee County Schools Superintendent Dr. David Lewis, and other educators surprised him by showing up to the special gathering.
Students demonstrated that Crouch will receive $25,000, as well as a trip to New Orleans in March with other Milken Educator Award winners.
“It’s not something you look for when you get into this,” Crouch said. “It’s not something you can look for. But it’s a real honor and testament to the people I’m around and the kids I get to spend everyday with.”
Dr. Foley calls the award the “Oscars of teaching.” Crouch says he will put the money in a savings account. The Milken Foundation looks for innovative practices and results when picking their winners. Crouch is the only teacher from Georgia to receive the Milken Award this year.
Crouch uses the philosophy that every child can be successful in the classroom. He uses current issues and events to relate to students at school.