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College of Education alum Tiffany Lemos receives surprise Milken Educator Award

Tiffany Lemos, who earned a bachelor in elementary education in 2011 and a master of educational technology in 2013, received a 2022 Milken Educator Award in March at a surprise assembly at Chubbuck Elementary, where she currently teaches third grade.

The award was created to recognize early-to-mid career education professionals for their outstanding achievements and to encourage the educators to continue their excellent service to students in the future. Winners receive $25k from the foundation, and highlights from the surprise assemblies, which take place in March of every year, are often covered by local and national television, including Good Morning America.

Lemos was selected because she takes special care in her classroom to make sure each learner has an environment that works for them to be successful, including seating arrangements that encourage learning and movement. Lemos uses a growth-mindset model for teaching and learning, focusing on doing what is best for each one of the learners in her classroom to allow them to progress as individuals. Lemos credits many of the skills she uses in her classroom to her education at Boise State.

“The programs at Boise State helped shape me into the teacher I am today by preparing me with essential skills to use in the classroom,” said Lemos. “I had the opportunity to complete a full year of student teaching, which was very helpful to see a classroom setting at the beginning and end of the school year.”

Lemos also credits skills she learned in the master of educational technology program as helping her teach through the pandemic when schools closed in spring of 2020, and in helping other educators and parents navigate remote instruction.

Lemos pictured with large check for $25,000 surrounded by administrators
From left, Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra; Dr. Michael Nelson; recipient Tiffany Lemos; Peggy Rogers; Idaho Department of Education Deputy Superintendent of Communications and Policy Marilyn Whitney; and Dr. Jane Foley, senior vice president of the Milken Educator Awards. Photo Credit: Milken Family Foundation

The respect Lemos has for her individual students is clearly part of what makes Lemos an outstanding educator. “I try to do what’s best for each learner in my classroom and celebrate their uniqueness,” said Lemos. “I believe (students) come into my classroom with a tremendous amount of knowledge already and I can help them create their own pathways into life-long learning.”

Lemos plans to use the funds from the award toward a new home. “I am honored to win the Milken Educator Award. It proves that what teachers are doing every single day is noticed and it matters.”