EdD student Jana Fukada wins Milken Educator Award

February 25, 2015

USC Rossier doctoral student Jana Fukada is the latest recipient of the Milken Educator Award. Created in 1987, the award is designed to recognize exceptional early-to-mid career educators, and comes with $25,000 prize money.

Fukada, a teacher at Hawaii’s Mililani Uka Elementary, is working toward completing her doctorate in Rossier’s Educational Leadership program. Her research focus is on the Korean education system. Her award was accompanied by accolades from school and state officials.

Jana Fukada walks to the front of the school assembly

Jana Fukada upon the announcement of her award (Photo/Milken Family Foundation)

“Jana is always willing to take on a challenge if it will benefit her students and her school,” said Mililani Uka Principal Heather Wilhelm. “Parents express that she is a ‘gem’ and that they are so grateful Jana was their child’s teacher.”

Recent data from her class showed 70 percent of students were at or near grade level in English; 93 percent were proficient in math, 94 percent were proficient in science and 100 percent met social studies goals.

“This award may come as a surprise to Ms. Fukada; however, it’s no surprise that she is deserving of it,” stated Lt. Gov. Shan S. Tsutsui. “On behalf of the State of Hawaii, I am pleased to offer her congratulatory wishes and appreciation for her hard work and dedication to public education.”

Tsustsui-Fukada

Milken Educator Jana Fukada with Hawaii Lt. Governor Shan Tsutsui (Photo/Milken Family Foundation)

Fukada recently became a curriculum coach for grades K-2. As a kindergarten teacher, she co-taught an inclusion class and developed plans and assessments for the Hawaii Common Core Standards. Recent data from her class showed 70 percent of students were at or near grade level in English; 93 percent were proficient in math, 94 percent were proficient in science and 100 percent met social studies goals.

“I love working with the kids,” Fukada said. “I love it when they get it and they’re so excited when they figure it out on their own. You can see their eyes light up.”