Local teacher recognized for excellence, awarded $25,000
ST. FRANCISVILLE - Stephanie Whetstone has been teaching at Bains Elementary School for five years. She thought Thursday was going to be a normal school day. But instead, there was a surprise she and her students never saw coming.
“I love to teach because it is different every day, a new adventure,” said Whetstone.
The Milken Foundation awards 33 teachers across the nation every year with the Milken’s Educator award. However, the recipient's name is kept confidential until the reveal. Neither the school nor the recipient knew what was about to happen.
The school held an assembly because the school board told the staff they wanted to recognize Bain's students for the outstanding math skills. Little did they know this was all to recognize Stephanie.
"I had no idea, I am completely shocked,” said Whetstone.
Emotional, Stephanie couldn't help but thank her coworkers and team, saying she couldn't have done it without them.
"What touched me the most is looking at the other teachers that I teach with every day, because every day like I said it's a new adventure and a new a struggle; and knowing that I didn't accomplish this, we accomplished this as a team,” said Whetstone.
To top it all off, the winner is given $25,000 to spend on whatever they like and given opportunities to broaden their impact on education at every level. But for Stephanie, the reward is in the classroom.
“We all as math teachers here at Bains work really hard every day to push our kids and sometimes we feel like we push them too hard, it's nice when it pays off. Literally. I’m just kidding," she joked.