A fourth-grade teacher from Woodholme Elementary School in Owings Mills was recently named Maryland’s only recipient of this year’s prestigious $25,000 Milken Educator Award.

McKinley Broome, a teacher for six years in Baltimore County, learned of the award during a school-wide assembly and academic pep rally hosted by Baltimore County Superintendent Joe A. Hairston and State Superintendent of Schools Nancy S. Grasmick.

The 28-year-old Owings Mills resident seemed stunned when Grasmick announced his name to a raucous gymnasium full of Woodholme staff, dignitaries from across Baltimore County, past Milken winners, and the school’s 820 cheering students. The national award comes with a $25,000 prize and participation in a national education conference in Los Angeles in the spring.

“It is wonderful that this exemplary educator is one of 55 new teachers across the country to receive a Milken Educator Award,” said Grasmick in a press statement. “I am extremely impressed by McKinley Broome’s long range instructional leadership and efforts. His visible dedication and enthusiasm for teaching Maryland’s young – from providing professional development to his fellow colleagues to playing an intricate role in the elevation of MSA scores – are paramount to the undeniable success of Woodholme Elementary School’s students.”

Broome’s honor makes him the only educator in Maryland to receive a Milken this year. Hailed as the “Oscars of Teaching” by Teacher Magazine, the Milken Educator Awards recognize the importance of outstanding educators and encourages young people to enter teaching.

“McKinley Broome demonstrates the high level of talent and dedication we expect from all our teachers,” said Dr. Hairston in a press release. “His well-deserved honor reflects on all of our teachers and on the importance of having creative, dynamic educators in every classroom.”

A fourth-grade teacher and sixth-year educator, Broome has already captured Rookie Teacher of the Year honors from the Teachers Association of Baltimore County and been a finalist for the countywide teacher of the year. He has been nominated for four straight years for the Baltimore County Chamber of Commerce’s Award for Excellence, Broome has been a curriculum presenter for new teachers, a pilot teacher for the school system, and a teacher mentor. A graduate of Towson and Salisbury universities, he decided to teach fourth-graders in college because he believes it’s at that age that children begin to become more independent and receptive to the impressions they receive from the world around them.

Broome is the first Milken Award winner from Baltimore County since 2005 and 2004, when Kelly Smith of Dulaney High School and Deirdre Austen of Lutherville Laboratory were honored with back-to-back recognitions.

The largest teacher recognition program in the nation, the Milken Awards provide public recognition and an unrestricted financial award of $25,000. He will also receive an all-expenses paid trip to Los Angeles in the spring to participate in the Milken Educator Forum.