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Valley teacher receives national award

Jessica Zimmerman was surprised in front of her fellow teachers and students.

PHOENIX — An outstanding teacher in the Roosevelt school district won $25,000 for teaching excellence.

Instructional Coach Jessica Zimmerman received the award at Valley View Leadership Academy Friday. The honor given by the Milken Family Foundation is given to more than 60 educators around the country every year for teaching excellence.

The Milken Educator Awards founder Lowell Milken surprised Zimmerman with the award at an assembly. Zimmerman was under the impression she was attending a band performance.

“It just means that the work that I’ve put in is seen and it’s like this big thank you,” said Zimmerman.

Zimmerman works for the Roosevelt School District, where she helps guide professional learning to strengthen educator effectiveness and increase student achievement. 

Zimmerman led her fellow teachers through the ups and downs of teaching through the pandemic.

“It’s so important today when we have such significant teacher shortages to encourage young people to consider teaching,” said Milken.

“It has given me a pep in my step to know I’m doing the right things, and this won’t be the last you hear of me,” said Zimmerman.

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