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She's In The Money

Receiving any teaching award is a boost to a teacher's ego. And a surefire way to make that success even sweeter is to add award money. So things were looking very good this week for Linda Alston of Denver, whose receipt of the Kinder Excellence In Teaching Award came with $100,000— the most money ever awarded to a K-12 educator. The award, which seeks to recognize exceptional teachers in schools where at least half the students receive free or reduced-price meals, required a nominating essay from someone who knew the teacher well, and the award committee visited the 10 finalists in their classrooms. Alston, a 25-year teaching veteran who's spent most of her time teaching kindergarteners using facets of the Montessori method, said her teaching philosophy is simply "...try to create as much beauty, order, and dignity for the learning environment as I possibly can.” Last year, she switched schools, seeking to work with underserved students in full-day kindergarten. So that award money will come in handy in outfitting her classroom. But first, she's got some other ideas in mind: a vacation to Martha's Vineyard and some expensive orange geraniums for her flower garden.

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