International School physics teacher Ryan Lafferty was surprised with the 2015-16 Milken Educator Award at an all-school assembly on Jan. 7.

The award was presented by Milken Family Foundation Senior Vice President Jane Foley. In addition to the student body and faculty, State Superintendent Randy Dorn, Bellevue School District Superintendent Tim Mills, Bellevue City Council Member Conrad Lee, and Bellevue School District Board members Chris Marks, My-Linh Thai and Carolyn Watson, as well as former Milken Educator Award winners were present.

Ryan Lafferty Hearing his name called

Lafferty joins up to 40 of America’s most outstanding educators who will receive the honor this year. He is the only Washington recipient. The national recognition comes with an unrestricted $25,000 cash prize.

“Mr. Lafferty inspires his students every day,” said Dorn. “His up-beat attitude and project-based approach create an energized learning environment that supports a love of learning.”

Lafferty’s classes are in demand and his students earn high marks on exams. He is a National Honors Society advisor, serves on the school’s middle and high science clubs and travels to the state science bowl. He is also committed to enhancing social emotional learning, interdepartmental collaboration and professional communication.

Learn more about the Milken Educator Award on the Foundation website, and you can read more about Lafferty’s class on the district website.

The Bellevue School District acknowledges that we learn, work, live and gather on the Indigenous Land of the Coast Salish peoples, specifically the Duwamish and Snoqualmie Tribes. We thank these caretakers of this land, who have lived and continue to live here, since time immemorial.