Two Iowa teachers are among dozens of educators nationwide being honored in a black-tie ceremony in Los Angeles tonight. Tom Paulsen of Carroll and Gail Worthmann of Ottumwa are this year’s Iowa winners of the Milken Family Foundation National Educator Awards. Paulsen, who teaches agricultural education at Carroll High School, says the 25-thousand dollar prize will come in handy.Paulsen and his wife are both teachers and they have three young children. He says they still have student loans to whittle down as well as other bills, plus, he wants to save some of it for his kids’ educations. Paulsen says he’s “overwhelmed” to receive the honor and says he strives for excellence in his classrooms in Carroll.Worthmann teaches anatomy and physiology at Ottumwa High School. While she has no student loans to pay off, she says her two adult children do — so they are the focus of her plans for the 25-thousand dollar check she’ll get tonight.Her son is also a teacher at Ottumwa High and her daughter has just started working on her master’s of arts in teaching degree. Worthmann discusses why she may’ve been set aside for this honor. She says she’s tried over the years to take a term-laden class and convert it into a lab-based student-centered class. The Milken Family Foundation was formed in 1985 to recognize excellence in education and to attract and retain quality educators. Since then, it has given out more than 44-million dollars to teachers in 44 states.
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