Milken Educator Awards

News Release - Anchorage Teacher Matthew Elfstrom Receives National Educator Award for Alaska

JUNEAU – Matthew “Mark” Elfstrom has received the 2011 Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award for Alaska.

Matthew Elfstrom

Matthew “Mark” Elfstrom

Elfstrom teaches seventh-grade math at Romig Middle School in the Anchorage School District. He was notified of the $25,000 award in a surprise ceremony October 21 attended by Alaska Education Commissioner Mike Hanley, Anchorage Superintendent Carol Comeau, Principal Sven Gustafson, and the staff and students of Romig Middle School.

“Mr. Elfstrom represents the finest traits in Alaska’s educators, whose concern for students goes beyond the classroom and whose influence lasts long after the school year has ended,” Commissioner Hanley said in a statement. “We are grateful to the Milken Family Foundation for recognizing the value of educators.”

Blue ribbon committees in each of 47 participating states recommend candidates to the Milken Family Foundation. Milken recipients are chosen for their educational talent, educational accomplishments beyond the classroom, potential for professional and policy leadership, and an engaging and inspiring presence.

Elfstrom began his education career as a seventh-grade math and science teacher at Romig Middle School and now serves as chairman of Romig’s math department. He coaches wrestling and track and field, and recently completed his master’s degree in educational leadership.

His recommendation for the award cited Elfstrom as teacher leader, a coach, and a motivator with a tireless drive to help his students succeed academically and in life. His lessons are standards-based and infused with technology, which has led to student gains not only in test scores but also in overall confidence. He inspires students to do more, to be better, and to try new things.

Romig Middle School can be reached at 907-742-5252. The Milken Family Foundation can be reached at