Congratulations to Director of Creative Writing Melody Mansfield for winning the prestigious Milken Family Foundation Jewish Educator Award (JEA).
The surprise award was presented to Mansfield before the entire school at a special Town Meeting held on Tuesday, September 26. She broke into tears when Lowell Milken, co-founder of Milken Community Schools and chairman and co-founder of the Milken Family Foundation (MFF), announced the exciting news. The audience erupted into cheers and applause, and rose for a standing ovation when Mansfield’s name was revealed.
Overcome with emotion, Mansfield took to the podium and thanked everyone for their support. Mansfield’s husband, daughter, and granddaughter stood behind her savoring the moment.
Mansfield has taught creative writing at Milken for almost 20 years and has been a guiding force in helping young writers find their voices and championing their work. More than two dozen of her students are published in literary magazines annually. The Milken Literary Magazine, advised by Mansfield was awarded Superior for Excellence in Student Literary Magazines by the National Council of Teachers of English. A working author herself, she has had two books published and her short fiction, essays, and poetry have appeared in a variety of literary, academic, and commercial publications.
Reacting to her win, Mansfield gushed, “I am seriously so overwhelmed and honored by this award. I already feel more than lucky to be allowed to teach what I love and to work with such wonderfully kind and brilliant colleagues; my life is filled to the brim right now and I am beyond grateful. I am still flying, still in shock, and very, very happy!”
The Milken Foundation Jewish Educator award recognizes outstanding educators in Builders of Jewish Education (BJE)-affiliated Jewish Day Schools and is accompanied by a $15,000 unrestricted prize.
Mansfield will join the three other JEA recipients and their families, and community leaders, at an awards luncheon at the Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel on November 30, 2017. The event is known for its inclusiveness, bringing together people from the most secular to the most Orthodox in the Jewish community.