“Paige Leddy, you’re a Rhode Island Milken educator.”
That was how Jane Foley, senior vice president of the Milken Educator Awards, announced that Paige Leddy, a K-4 reading specialist at Richmond Elementary School in Rhode Island, was a 2023 national Milken Educator Award recipient for her outstanding impact in the field of education.
The award was presented Oct. 10 at a surprise all-school assembly of students, colleagues and dignitaries.
The award comes with an unrestricted $25,000 cash prize.
Leddy served nearly a decade as a leader among second-grade teachers before taking on a role as a reading specialist and implementing the Science of Reading program, a revamped way of teaching to enhance student literacy.
“Reading is so important for all children to succeed in life,” Leddy said. “It is really important for us to reach them now and reach them early.”
She said that the school district has made a major push for an enhanced reading program deepening everyone’s understanding of teaching reading and how students learn to read.
“Reading opens doors to knowledge and opportunity, and Richmond Elementary School is fortunate to have Paige Leddy as its guide,” said Foley, who is a 1994 Indiana Milken Educator. “Paige’s dedication to the effective implementation of high-quality curricula, sharing best practices and leading with a growth mindset have propelled students and colleagues alike to excellence. I am honored to welcome Paige to the Milken Educator Award family and look forward to the expertise she will bring to our national network.”
Often hailed as the “Oscars of Teaching,” the Milken Educator Awards were created in 1987 by philanthropist and education visionary Lowell Milken, to represent the nation’s preeminent teacher recognition program, empowering recipients to “celebrate, elevate, and activate” the K-12 profession and inspire students to pursue teaching careers.
Leddy earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and psychology in 2007, a master’s in reading in 2021 and a graduate’s certificate in dyslexia knowledge and practice programs from the University of Rhode Island.
Leddy is among the 75 exceptional educators honored nationally this year.
Along with the financial prize, recipients will join the national Milken Educator Network, a growing group of professionals across diverse roles and disciplines working to shape the future of education.