Plymouth teacher receives $25,000 Milken Educator Award

NOW: Plymouth teacher receives $25,000 Milken Educator Award

PLYMOUTH, Ind.— One local teacher received the surprise of a lifetime Thursday afternoon.

When Plymouth High School English teacher, Josh Dingledein arrived at school this morning, he thought he would be teaching Thomas Payne’s Common Sense and attending a school assembly.

Little did he know the assembly was all for him and he would be receiving a $25,000 national Milken Educator Award.

The Milken Educator Award is considered “the Oscars” of Education. 

Thursday afternoon, the beloved English teacher joined the elite group of 1% of educators across the country.

Dr. Katie Jenner, Indiana Secretary of Education, Dr. Jane Foley, the Senior Vice President of the Milken Educator Awards, and the entire Plymouth High School student body gathered this morning to honor Joshua Dingledein, who leads the school's prayer group and coaches football, with the award that recognizes early to mid-career educators for their excellence.

The award doesn’t take applicants, or nominations, and must be kept top secret, until announced.

So, the news came as a complete shock to Mr. Dingledein.

Students describe the educator as positive, consistent, and selfless.

ABC57 spoke to him after a dramatic entrance back to the classroom, as messages from students waited for him on the board.

"I really believe that God allowed me to be a teacher to try to make a difference in a single life, and so I try to keep that mentality every day and at the end of the day as long as I impacted one student it was worth it,” said Mr.  Dingledein.

The students we spoke to say he has well surpassed that goal in the last nine years.

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