Ph.D Student Leads Her School to Award


Written by: CEHD Communications Staff
Post date: March 23, 2011

Courtesy KBTX - Ben Milam Elementary School Principal, Tracy Spies, said, "Just like with the Milken Award, we don't remember a whole lot, after they called our name, we just of sat there, stunned for a little bit."

It's 10 days later, and Ben Milam Elementary School Principal Spies, still can't believe her school won $50,000.

She was so nervous. "We got our plaque and took pictures and I actually forgot to get the check," said Spies.

The System for Teacher and Student Advancement, picks one school each year to honor with the TAP Founder's Award for exceptional implementation of their four elements of success.

Spies said,"Multiple career paths, instructionally focused accountability, performance based compensation and teacher evaluations."

Believe it or not, this isn't the first prestigious award connected to Milam Elementary. Principal Spies was one of two Texas educators awarded $25,000 back in October through the Milken Foundation Educator Award.

"We talk about being proud of our journey and not just being focused on attaining the goal," Spies said. She says it's all for her "little rock stars" and gives credit to her staff. Her leadership team and community volunteers will form a committee to decide how best to spend the money.

Spies said, "We're just going to look at how we've implemented TAP and what our next goal is and how that money can best support our continuing growth in TAP."

The secret to their success? Being proud of every step they take in order to reach their goals. Milam Elementary was affected by district budget cuts and lost its librarian. Principal Spies says personnel is one option that will be considered when deciding how to spend the award money.