Jamie Enochs, a teacher at the San Diego High School of International Studies, won $25,000 today from the Milken Family Foundation, which picks teachers every year based on the recommendation of a state panel. The awards, dubbed the “Oscars of teaching,” come as a surprise to the winning teachers. Enochs is one of three California teachers to win the award and the only one in San Diego County this year.

Here’s a glowing excerpt from the press release:

Enochs has developed innovative ways to navigate students through the rigors of [International Baccalaureate] curriculum. From this blend of creativity and critical thinking emerged her section on Shakespeare’s Hamlet, in which Enochs created a “character meter” for her students to track Hamlet’s anxiety level during each act. Her artistic skills are no secret, as she decorates her classroom with elaborate charts and dècor she makes herself.  She also fashioned pins for her IB English seniors — bees with large eyes to symbolize “IB”— to wear for confidence and solidarity during their rigorous IB testing. Almost 100 percent of her seniors went on to pass the California IB English language exam. The worldwide average is 60 percent.


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