Sara King, who earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa College of Education, has received the Milken Educator Award. The Title I coordinator at Ala Wai Elementary is the only Hawaiʻi Milken Educator in 2019, and is among 33 teachers nationwide selected for the honor this season.

Sara King
Sara King (Photo credit: Milken Family Foundation)

The Milken Award honors outstanding excellence in education and comes with an unrestricted $25,000 cash prize.

King received the surprise award in a school-wide assembly in front of more than 400 cheering students, teachers and staff members. As the Title I coordinator for Ala Wai Elementary, King develops school-wide support systems that allow all students to thrive and reach their full potential.

“I always wanted to be a teacher ever since I was little, so it was never a question of what I wanted to major in,” said King. As the school’s Title I coordinator, King ensures that she spends time with students every day. “My favorite part of the day is working with my small groups of children. In deciding to come out of the classroom, one of my things was that I want to still be with kids every single day,” she said.

King earned her bachelor’s in elementary education and master’s in curriculum studies, emphasizing multicultural education.

The Milken Educator Awards program, which was launched by the Milken Family Foundation in 1987, has been described as “the Oscars of teaching” by Teacher magazine.

King is the 77th Hawaiʻi teacher to receive the Milken Educator Award since the state joined the program in 1990. The 77 Hawaiʻi recipients have received awards along with a total of $1.9 million in prize monies.

For more information, photos and video, visit the Milken Educator Awards website.

4 people wearing lei
From left, Milken Educator Awards Senior Vice President Jane Foley; Hawaiʻi First Lady Dawn Amano-Ige, Milken Educator Award recipient Sara King and Hawaiʻi Governor David Y. Ige. (Photo credit: Milken Family Foundation)