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MJMS’ Hallstedt honored with prestigious award

Mt. Juliet Middle School teacher Tyler Hallstedt got a big surprise Thursday when he was given the Milken Educator Award and $25,000 at a school assembly.
Hallstedt, MJMS and Green Hill High School students gathered in the auxiliary gym at GHHS to welcome Governor Bill Lee and Commissioner of Education Penny Schwinn. Little did the attendants know that they were really there to honor Hallstedt who had been chosen by Milken Family Foundation for their Milken Educator Award. Hallstedt joins just over 60 educators across the country to win the award this year. It is considered the “Oscars of Teaching”. Hallstedt is the first recipient ever from Wilson County Schools.
Hallstedt was shocked when Governor Lee announced him as the winner, saying he had nothing prepared because he had no idea it was going to happen.
“It’s an honor to receive, and I’m thrilled,” said Hallstedt.
Hallstedt thanked his students for being a joy to teach.
“You guys are awesome and why this job is so fun…usually,” joked Hallstedt.
Hallstedt teaches Eighth Grade Social Studies at MJMS. The Milken Family Foundation praised his enthusiasm in the classroom, his work helping his colleagues, and the way he builds trust with his students. Commissioner Schwinn echoed that praise.
“Parents hope that their student’s teacher can help inspire a love of learning, and in his Mt. Juliet Middle School classroom, Tyler Hallstedt truly brings social studies to life,” said Commissioner Schwinn. “Whether students are writing letters in historical contexts or studying the political process, Mr. Hallstedt has a creative, inspirational and passionate approach to his work that helps him connect with his students and support their learning in a meaningful way.”
The Milken Educator Awards have no nomination or application process. Candidates are found by the organization and reviewed by panels in each state. Individuals are recommended, and the final selections are made by the Milken Family Foundation.
Hallstedt will now be a member of the Milken Educator Network, a group of more than 2,800 teachers, principals and specialists. The network serves as a rich resource for fellow educators, legislators, school board and others dedicated to excellence in education. In addition to his $25,000 prize, Hallstedt will get an all expenses paid trip to Los Angeles in June for the Milken Educator Awards Forum.