Omaha teacher wins prestigious Milken Educator Award

It was a complete surprise!
An Omaha educator was awarded with what many call the Oscar of teaching.
Published: Jan. 20, 2023 at 4:55 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - An Omaha educator received what many call the Oscars of teaching: the Milken Educator Award.

It happened when she was lured to the gym under false pretenses. It was a school assembly Lisa Moody will never forget.

The special education teacher was honored with the Milken Educator Award, being hailed as an innovator and a leader, who’s already had a lasting impact.

Her colleagues say she’s “the most deserving.”

“My name may be on the paper, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s a school, it’s a team effort because I couldn’t do it without all the people that step in and support me every day,” says Moody.

She’s a friendly face at Jefferson Elementary, helping students with special needs reach their full potential.

“I was born with cerebral palsy so naturally I know what it’s like to live in a world that wasn’t built for you,” says Moody.

She teaches K through 6 and spearheaded a new “hybrid-inclusive education program” at Jefferson, where her students can learn alongside children in general education classrooms.

Moody says the support she has received at Jefferson is paramount to her success and the success of her students.

“I think that she deserves it. I’m very proud of her and I was crying tears of joy and I am so proud of her. I wish that she can have a lucky life, you know,” says former student Ca’mari Pinkney.

Moody also piloted a verbal behavior program, training multiple colleagues in instructional strategies that have improved communication skills throughout the school’s special education population.