Two Middle Tennessee Teachers Receive National Recognition as Milken Educators

Thursday, April 07, 2022 | 03:00pm


Recipients Represent Murfreesboro City Schools and Wilson County Schools

Nashville, TN— Today, the Tennessee Department of Education announced two Tennessee teachers—Raeven Brooks, 2nd grade teacher at Black Fox Elementary School in Murfreesboro City Schools and Tyler Hallstedt, 8th grade social studies teacher at Mt. Juliet Middle School in Wilson County Schools— have been named recipients of the prestigious Milken Educator Award, one of the highest honors in education that has been dubbed the “Oscars of Teaching” by Teacher Magazine. In addition to the honor of being a Milken Educator Award winner, these teachers have also received $25,000 from the Milken Family Foundation.  

“Tennessee is home to thousands of outstanding educators and this year’s Milken Educator Award recipients are proof of that,” said Commissioner Penny Schwinn. “Both of these educators approach their work to serve with energy, excitement and creativity, enriching the lives of their students. Congratulations to both of these educators for this prestigious and much-deserved recognition and for their service to Tennessee and also the education profession.”

Established in 1987, the Milken National Educator Awards were created to attract, reward and retain the highest caliber professionals in the education profession. The award targets early-to-mid career teachers and principals for their already impressive achievements and, more significantly, for the promise of what they will accomplish in the future. Recipients are honored with $25,000 in unrestricted awards. Since Tennessee joined the Milken Educator Award program in 1992, sixty-six Tennessee educators have been awarded a total of $1.65 million.

One of Tennessee’s Milken Educators this year, Raeven Brooks, a Murfreesboro native, is known as a leader in her school and district and grew up in a family of educators. She holds high expectations for every second grader in her class and works to keep students engaged and on track through data analysis, differentiated instruction and classroom management, which help her bring out the best in each student. Learn more here.

“Murfreesboro City is a district filled with excellent educators and professionals who work tirelessly for the students of our community, and today the rest of Tennessee and the country got to meet one of our very best,” said Dr. Trey Duke, Director of Schools, Murfreesboro City Schools. “We are so proud of the work Raeven does and for the example she sets for educators everywhere.  As a former Milken honoree, I understand the impact this recognition can bring, and I am thrilled to welcome a fellow Murfreesboro City employee into this amazing groups of educators.”

Tennessee’s other Milken Educator Award recipient, Tyler Hallstedt, brings historical events alive in his classroom while giving a comprehensive view of subjects to make lessons relevant. He engages every student with deft use of technology and hands-on activities. Learn more here.

“We couldn’t be more proud of Mr. Hallstedt and him receiving this highly distinguished award,” said Jeff Luttrell, Director of Schools, Wilson County Schools. “He’s admired by so many in our district and respected among his colleagues. He’s dedicated, and he works very hard for his students to make sure they get the most out of his classes. We say thank you to everyone who made this possible for him and thank you to the Milken Educator Awards program for recognizing and honoring educators across the country. We’re very excited to have one of our own receive this very generous award.”

Each of these educators are part of the 2021 Milken Educators Award class, awarded in the 2021-22 school year due to the pandemic. Click here for more information about the Milken Educator Awards.

For Tennessee Department of Education media inquiries, contact