Texas High School English teacher, Monica Washington, has been named a 2015 Lowell Milken Center (LMC) for Unsung Heroes Fellow.

Washington joins an elite network of exceptional educators who share a passion for teaching respect and understanding through project-based learning. As part of her appointment, she spent the week of June 15 at LMC’s headquarters in Fort Scott, Kansas, collaborating with peers from the U.S. and Europe.

The LMC Fellows program is a merit-based professional development opportunity that prepares K-12 educators in diverse academic disciplines to enhance student-led learning through positive role models – “Unsung Heroes” – from history. Each LMC Fellow has achieved national or international recognition; demonstrates exemplary educational accomplishments beyond the classroom; and possesses an engaging, inspiring presence that motivates and impacts students, colleagues, communities and beyond.

During their week in Fort Scott, LMC Fellows learned about educational resources and ongoing support to transform their classrooms and in order to help students cultivate a passion for learning by creating projects that initiate positive change in the world.

In her 17 years in education, Washington has taught English in Tennessee and Texas. Her classroom is a nurturing environment in which students are encouraged to take academic risks that help them to discover their potential. Students collaborate on projects, discuss critical elements in their reading, and strengthen their ability to communicate more effectively with others.

Washington enjoys helping her students to become critical thinkers and readers who are able to read beyond the text on the page. She hopes that her students leave her classroom more prepared to excel at the university level. While teaching at Texas High School, Washington was identified as the 2014 Texas Teacher of the Year, a prestigious honor recognized at the national level for excellence in teaching.

In addition to her teaching duties, Washington serves as English Department Chair and a new teacher mentor at Texas High School. She serves on the Teacher and Learning Committee for the Texas State Teachers Association.

Further, she is a 2015 NEA Foundation Global Fellow and is currently incorporating global lessons into her classroom. This fellowship will allow her to study the Peruvian education system in June 2015. Washington also looks forward to training teacher leaders with the National Network of State Teachers of the Year. She is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Education in Teacher Leadership.

Says LMC Executive Director Norm Conard, “This outstanding English teacher has received rave reviews in all areas of education. She is a mover and shaker in Texas education. We look forward to her contributions for our Fellows program.”