Pamela Stepko receives Milken Educator Award
Pamela Stepko receives Milken Educator Award

Cumberland County Math Interventionist Surprised with Milken Educator Award

Post Date:12/14/2022 3:45 PM

From Virginia Department of Education

For Immediate Release: December 14, 2022 Contact: Charles Pyle (804) 371-2420 

CUMBERLAND, Va. — Pamela Stepko, a mathematics intervention teacher at Cumberland Elementary School, received a $25,000 Milken Educator Award today during a surprise school assembly. The award was presented by Milken Educator Awards Vice President Stephanie Bishop. Virginia first lady Suzanne S. Youngkin and Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow also participated in the announcement.

“It is exciting to join the Cumberland Elementary community to celebrate Milken Educator Award winner Pamela Stepko. Virginia’s educators are making a tremendous difference in young lives and I look forward to continuing to champion their contributions in the New Year,” Youngkin said.

"Pamela has an unshakable belief that every child can achieve success in math and this is reflected in the 20-point jump in math performance Cumberland Elementary students achieved last year," Balow said. "She scrutinizes data to plot a path forward for every child in her school and is constantly finding creative ways to excite young minds about the wonders and possibilities of mathematics."

Stepko is in her seventh year of teaching at Cumberland Elementary. Before assuming her current role as a math interventionist for third and fourth grade students, she served as an assistant principal and as a pre-K, second grade and third grade teacher. Stepko earned a bachelor’s degree in 2007 and a Master of Education in administration and supervision in 2016 from Longwood University.

“Pamela Stepko’s unique combination of leadership and classroom experience makes her a valuable asset to Cumberland Elementary School and the community at large,” said Bishop, who received a Milken Educator Award in 2001 while a theater teacher and fine arts chair at Prince George High in Prince George County. “Through her creativity, compassion and high expectations for excellence,

Pamela builds both academic skill and the confidence in her students to become productive young citizens. I am thrilled to welcome her to our national network of Milken Educators.”

The Milken Educator Award recognizes teachers, principals and other public-school educators who promote excellence and innovation. Recipients are selected on the basis of multiple criteria related to instructional practice, leadership, student achievement and accomplishments outside the classroom.

Stepko is the 49th Virginia educator to receive a Milken Educator Award. Since the launch of the Milken Educator Awards program in 1987, the Milken Family Foundation has distributed more than $70 million to more than 2,800 educators, including more than $1.1 million in Virginia.

Photo Credit and Caption:  CBS 19 News

Milken Educator Awards Vice President Stephanie Bishop puts an arm around a still-stunned Pamela Stepko, who is still trying to process the news about her Milken Award. (Milken Family Foundation)