SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Caddo Parish principal Marco French was honored Tuesday afternoon with an award that is referred to as the “Oscar” for educators and a check for $25,000.

The Milken Educator Awards, an initiative of the Milken Family Foundation, has rewarded and inspired great teachers since 1987. More than 2,600 teachers around the country have received the honor, which is given to nearly 40 teachers per year.

“Chancellor Marco French has achieved significant success by aligning every effort to developing, motivating, and retaining effective educators,” said Lowell Milken. “Marco unifies his staff under a common vision for excellence and, in so doing, creates a collaborative, vibrant culture for all to excel.”

The award is usually given to mid-career teachers who exhibit effective instructional practices, student learning, educational accomplishments beyond the classroom, and being an inspiring presence that motivates and impacts students, colleagues, and the community.

“As a former teacher, content coach, and instructional coordinator, Marco French understands learning and leadership from many angles,” said State Superintendent of Education Dr. Cade Brumley. “These experiences have clearly informed his work as principal; he is committed to the success of the Queensborough Leadership Academy community, where he continues to motivate students and staff and inspire the next generation of leaders.”

There is no formal nomination or application process for consideration. This is why recipients of the awards are surprised, including French. He thought today was about everything except him, even when he realized that Lowell Milken was in his school he never thought the honor was his.

“They had me thinking we were doing something here for literacy today, and Cade Brumley did start out speaking on that,” said French. “But to see that I’m the one who actually tried to make sure everything was in place for this and it was for me, it brings an even better appreciation to it, but I’m grateful for it. I’m so honored.”