Local Earth Science Teacher Receives National Award

Title: Local Earth Science Teacher Receives National Award

Author: Norb Cygan

Publication: The Outcrop, December 2001, p. 9

John McKinney, MPG 2001 Earth Science Teacher of the Year and the RMAG 2000 Teacher of the Year, has been awarded the $25,000 National Educator Award by the Milken Family Foundation. The prestigious award, announced Wednesday, October 10, came as a surprise to John, who was in the middle of his preparation for a field trip for his seventh graders at Mountain Ridge Middle School in Douglas County, Colorado.

The Milken award honors teachers who demonstrate excellence in the classroom and the ability to engage their students in learning. It also recognizes the teacher’s professional contributions. In addition to $25,000 the Foundation will fly him and the other 119 national awardees to Hollywood for an Academy Awards-type of presentation.

McKinney was named the Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists Teacher of the Year in 2000, and his credentials were submitted as the Rocky Mountain Division nominee for the MPG national award in 2001. He was presented that award at the MPG Annual Convention in June 2001 in Denver. At the time of the MPG Award, McKinney was a teacher at Castle Rock Middle School. At the beginning of this year’s school term he was assigned to Mountain Ridge Middle School, a new middle school in Douglas County.

To Denver area petroleum geologists, McKinney is known as a teacher who not only encourages students to study the history of Earth, but who also teaches a unit on energy resources and their relationship to our daily lives.