Evansville teacher wins award, first time since 1998

Published: Feb. 16, 2017 at 11:33 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 26, 2017 at 7:06 PM CST
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Oak Hill third grade teacher Traci Druschke(WFIE)
Oak Hill third grade teacher Traci Druschke(WFIE)

EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - It's safe to say Oak Hill third grade teacher Traci Druschke had no idea she was about to receive the 25,000 thousand dollar Milken Educator Award. An award so prestigious, it's sometimes called the "Oscars of Teaching."

"I am amazed, shocked, best word, shocked," Traci Druschke said.

Druschke is among 35 people nationwide to win this award. And she is the first teacher in the EVSC to win the award since 1998.

"We look for teachers who are innovative and really pushing the bounds in their classroom," Program Administrator Greg Gallagher said.

While this award means a lot to Druschke, nothing compares to the joys of teaching.

"I love the excitement, I love to push students," Druschke said. "I love when students want to learn, and when they want to learn you're able to do so much with them and make them rise to the occasion."

Druschke has been teaching at Oak Hill since 2014 but has worked in the EVSC for about 10 years. She's known for her Whole Brain teaching method that helps students take ownership of their learning.

"This is an honor to recognize educators and that's what we need to do because our teachers don't always get the recognition for their passion and their hard work, and so it was a celebration for Mrs. Druschke but for all of our teachers too," Oak Hill Principal Lisa Shanks said.

As for how Mrs. Druschke will spend the money, her students have a pretty good idea.

"I am going to give her a hug and say I am really proud of you. I wanna ask if she is going to spend it all on coffee because she loves coffee." Students said.

"It's amazing, she puts more dedication in it than anybody I can think of. She definitely deserves it," Husband Matthew Druschke said.

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