Nashville Educator Surprised by $25,000 Milken Award

Tuesday, November 10, 2015 | 11:48am

NASHVILLE— High school English teacher Misty Ayres-Miranda was awarded $25,000, thanks to the Milken Family Foundation.

The award was presented Tuesday by Education Commissioner Candice McQueen and National Institute for Excellence in Teaching CEO Gary Stark.  Stark, a former recipient of the Milken Award, served as a representative on behalf of the Milken Family Foundation at the surprise ceremony at Nashville School of the Arts in Metro Nashville Public Schools.

“It’s our responsibility to ensure that Tennessee students are prepared to succeed after high school, and Misty Ayres-Miranda is working every day to help her students get there,” Commissioner Candice McQueen said. “She has gone above and beyond to support and encourage students in and out of her classroom.”

Ayres-Miranda teaches ninth- and twelfth-grade students English, Honors English, and AP English Literature and chairs the department. She also created and directs the school’s new Literary Arts Conservatory, designed to provide students with opportunities to perform, write and produce plays and films. In this program, teens learn to express themselves in a large variety of mediums. The students also perform with several local arts organizations, such as the Country Music Association and the Nashville Symphony.

Outside of class, Ayres-Miranda is a student council advisor, serves on the school executive leadership team, and often mentors current and new teachers. A talented performer in her own right, she is a vocalist for NSA jazz ensemble, and serves as a bilingual Spanish interpreter for family and community members from South America.

In Tennessee, 63 educators have been recognized since the program began in the state in 1992. Over the past 23 years, the program has awarded more than $1.5 million to Tennessee educators.

You can find additional information and pictures from the ceremony on the Milken Educator Awards website:

For more information, contact Ashley Ball at (615) 532-6260 or