University of Vermont

GIAC Teacher Awarded $25,000 from Milken Family Foundation

Maria Ung, 2011 GIAC program

Maria Ung, a Science teacher at Essex High School, was surprised at an all-school assembly on October 17, 2011 with a $25,000 Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award. First awarded in 1987, the Milken Family Foundation National Educator Awards were created to reward, retain and attract the highest quality K-12 educators to the profession.

“Maria’s work to date has demonstrated excellence in teaching and leadership,” said Principal Reardon of Essex High School. “Her knowledge, conscientious approach, work ethic and desire is a formula that is conducive to a long, productive career in education.”

An educator at Essex High School for eight years, Ung was recognized for being a role model to her students, especially young women, who are interested in science. She serves as the Science co-chair at Essex and as the varsity cheerleading coach. Maria is also a staff member of the Governor's Institute on Asian Cultures, a program that provides Vermont high school students with the opportunity to learn about and travel to China.

"I'm really humbled, because these teachers here are the ones who gave me my educational foundation," said Ung, a resident of Essex Junction. "It's theirs as well."