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San Diego High School Teacher Awarded $25K

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Aired 11/17/09

A San Diego high school teacher was surprised with a $25,000 check yesterday for being such a great teacher.

— A San Diego high school teacher was surprised with a $25,000 check yesterday for being such a great teacher.

Jaime Enochs poses with her $25,000 Milken Educator Award check. California Superintendent Jack O’Connell and SDUSD Acting Superintendent Bill Kowba joined in the festivities alongside Lowell Milken.
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Above: Jaime Enochs poses with her $25,000 Milken Educator Award check. California Superintendent Jack O’Connell and SDUSD Acting Superintendent Bill Kowba joined in the festivities alongside Lowell Milken.

Jamie Enochs teaches English at San Diego High School. She was told to report to a school assembly on Monday morning. Little did she know the assembly was in her honor.

“I had no clue. No idea,” Enochs said.

Enochs was presented with a $25,000 Milken Family Foundation National Education Award. Fifty-four teachers in the country get the prize.

Enochs was picked because almost all of her high school seniors have passed the rigorous International Baccalaureate English exam. Most of her ninth graders have already passed the English portion of the California High School Exit Exam.

Lowell Milken congratulates a very surprised Jaime Enochs. Enochs was presented with a $25,000 Milken Family Foundation National Education Award.
Enlarge this image

Above: Lowell Milken congratulates a very surprised Jaime Enochs. Enochs was presented with a $25,000 Milken Family Foundation National Education Award.

Enochs said one of her strategies is to pick really interesting books like "Beloved" by Toni Morrison and "The Metamorphosis" by Franz Kafka. She said she allows plenty of time for journaling and group discussions.

“(The literature) is really open to interpretation,” Enochs said. “It’s really OK if (a student) has an answer to a question that is vastly different from someone else in the class. There is no one right answer when it comes to talking about literature.”

Enochs said fellow teachers want her to spend the cash prize on things other than classroom supplies. She’s considering home improvements.

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