LUKAS HEFTYCOE EDUCATION ALUM WINS NATIONAL MILKEN EDUCATOR AWARD
USF St. Petersburg alumnus Lukas Hefty, a science and math magnet program coordinator at Douglas L. Jamerson Elementary School and adjunct instructor in the College of Education, was recognized in the spring as the recipient of the national Milken Educator Award, known as the “Oscar of Teaching.” He is only the second Pinellas County educator to receive the honor in the award’s 30-year history.
“Lukas was a great student but also wonderful as a person,” said Bill Heller, director of the Bishop Center for Ethical Leadership and former dean of the College of Education. “In an effort to upgrade our science offerings, we sought his expertise as an adjunct professor, and his evaluations by students clearly support that in doing so we achieved our goal.”
Hefty, who received a bachelor’s degree in elementary education in Fall 2004 and a master’s degree in elementary education in Spring 2008, is passionate about helping others learn about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). Under his leadership, the number of fifth graders at the elementary school who passed the state standardized science test rose from 48 percent in 2011 to 81 percent in 2015.