Coast Teacher Wins National Award

Two Mississippi teachers have received $25,000 each for their work in the classroom. Mississippi's 2001 Milken Family Foundation National Educator Awards winners were presented on Tuesday to Dorothy Stewart, an eighth-grade English teacher at Hancock Middle School in Kiln, and Renee Moore, who teaches high school English and journalism at Broad Street High in Shelby.

The two didn't apply for the national award; they were secretly nominated. The winners can spend the money any way they want. State Superintendent of Education Richard Thompson visited both schools and made the presentations. ``I don't know what to make of it. Things like this, they don't happen to me,'' said Stewart, who was presented the check during a school assembly.

Moore figured out pretty quickly Thompson was announcing the Milken winners, but she was sure she wasn't the winner. ``I'm kind of stunned right now,'' she said. ``My first thought was, 'Oh, my Lord.' After that, I don't know what I thought. Everything went dead for about 10 or 15 seconds.''