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Carriere teacher Chayna Adams wins $25,000 Milken Educator Award

Adams, who teaches at Pearl River Central High School, has won the Milken Award.
Adams, who teaches at Pearl River Central High School, has won the Milken Award.(submitted)
Published: Apr. 22, 2022 at 11:49 AM CDT
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CARRIERE, Miss. (WLOX) - Chayna Adams, a teacher from Pearl River Central High School, has won the $25,000 Milken Educator Award.

The Milken Award is presented to educators who have demonstrated exceptional talent in instructional practices and provide a great example for students beyond the classroom. The award is seen as the “Oscar” of teaching. The $25,000 cash award may be used as recipients see fit.

Adams, a former math teacher and current lead teacher at PRCHS, has done more than enough to meet prerequisites for the award. According to her colleagues, teachings go far beyond the classroom, as she shows students and coworkers alike what it means to be prideful, respectful, and committed. She has taught seven graduating classes at PRCHS, students have attributed her with equipping them with the readiness it requires to enter college as well as the rest of their lives.

“Ms. Adams has done an extraordinary job challenging her students to meet and exceed high academic standards,” said Dr. Carey Wright, state superintendent of education. “She is a wonderful example of our dedicated Mississippi educators who work hard every day to help students learn and succeed.”

As an algebra teacher, Adams saw a 94% passing rate, with students in the bottom 25% consistently reaching growth and proficiency targets on state assessments. She was able to help the classroom become a place for students to truly feel welcome and have fun while still learning through several activities, such as math “Jeopardy,” matching games, and partnered exercises. Results on unit and district assessments were posted on a “data wall,” and she would adjust her instruction to fill in the gaps.

“An important quality of an instructional leader is leveraging talents of the team to advance teaching and learning for all,” said Milken Educator Awards Senior Director Greg Gallagher. “Chayna Adams’ experience in bringing out the best in others serves her well in her current role helping to drive instruction and improvement across Pearl River Central High School. We congratulate her and look forward to the value and insights she will bring to the national Milken Educator Network.”

Serving as a math department chair, Adams helped evolve school procedures to fit the pandemic school closures. She would utilize virtual meetings with her department to create interactive videos and digital lessons for students learning at home. She also led the charge to redesign all levels of PRC High’s algebra curriculum in order to align with state standards as well as increase rigor and make content accessible to remote students.

Adams graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi in 2009 a bachelor’s in mathematics, and went on to receive her master’s in educational leadership from Arkansas State University in 2014.

For more information on the Milken Educator awards, you can visit their website at https://www.milkeneducatorawards.org/.

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