ARMADA, Mich. — Patty Paxton, an elementary school teacher in Armada Area Public Schools, received one of 55 Milken National Educator Awards this year, the Milken Family Foundation announced.

The $25,000 unrestricted awards are given to educators who, among other criteria, teach in ways that result in measurable student academic growth, according to the Foundation. According to information at the foundation website, Paxton's students made gains of 46 percent in math and English language arts on the Michigan Education Assessment Program tests in 2009.

The announcement said Paxton created a homework club for students, holds workshops for parents and hosts a summer program for students to keep up their skills.

Educators are recommended for Milken Awards by a panel appointed by each state's department of education, the announcement said.

Milken Family Foundation, "Could a $25,000 Milken Educator Award Soon Be Coming to a Great Educator Near You?"

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "Analysis: We Still Need to Reform Teacher Pay," Sept. 28, 2010