Rosendale fourth grade teacher wins Milken Award

rosendale teacher milken awardFourth-grade teacher Roseann Maurantonio is surprised during an assembly as she is announced as the winner of a 2014 Milken Educator Award and $25,000 during an assembly at Rosendale Elementary School in Niskayuna on Wednesday, November 12, 2014.
rosendale teacher milken award

Fourth-grade teacher Roseann Maurantonio is surprised during an assembly as she is announced as the winner of a 2014 Milken Educator Award and $25,000 during an assembly at Rosendale Elementary School in Niskayuna on Wednesday, November 12, 2014. Photo by Patrick Dodson.

Read the updated version of this story here.

By REBECCA ISENHART
Gazette Reporter

NISKAYUNA — This morning, a fourth grade teacher at Rosendale Elementary School in Niskayuna became the only person to win the Milken Educator Award in New York State this year.

In addition to the cheers of her colleagues, students, and educational leaders from across the district and the state, Roseann Maurantonio, 31, won $25,000 to spend as she pleases.

Before the ceremony, students and teachers were only told there would be an assembly at 9:00 a.m., and that they could expect a surprise guest. The surprise guest was New York State’s Commissioner of Education, John B. King.

The momentousness of the occasion appeared to sink in for students when Rosendale principal Jean Winkler told them, “He’s in charge of all the schools in New York.”

Jane Foley, senior vice president of the Milken Family Foundation, traveled from Santa Monica, Calif. to present the award.

“Greatness in education should be recognized,” she said, comparing the award to the Oscars of education.

By the time Foley had explained the honor to the students seated on the gymnasium floor, everyone was visibly impatient for the big reveal.

When Maurantonio’s name was finally read, students and teachers exploded into applause. Kids screamed and jumped like they had just seen a celebrity. Maurantonio stood, stunned.

“There was this one person they chose in New York State,” Maurantonio said after the ceremony. “Could I really be that one person in New York State? I didn’t think it could be me.”

She’s not sure how she’ll spend the award money yet, although she said she dreams of opening her own school one day and possibly earning her Ph.D.

In the moment, however, Maurantonio said the rest of the day would include parent-teacher conferences and preparing her students for an upcoming math test.

About the Author

Rebecca Isenhart
Rebecca Isenhart is the reporter/writer for Your Niskayuna, presented by the Daily Gazette of Schenectady.