Wheeling’s singing principal makes elementary school ‘stronger together’ through music

Wheeling, W.Va. (November 3, 2022) — When Madison Elementary’s principal, Andrea Trio, walks through the halls singing with her students, it’s more than a performance – it’s a way to use music and other social-emotional behavioral tools to calm her young Cougars.

And recently, Principal Trio’s creative efforts as a leader in her school and community earned her the Award of a lifetime – an unrestricted, individual $25,000 cash prize and the Milken Educator Award, one of the nation’s highest achievements in education, presented by the Milken Family Foundation.

The awards will honor up to 40 elementary educators in the 2022-23 school year. Over the past 35 years, more than $140 million in funding, including more than $73 million in individual Awards, has been devoted to the overall Milken Awards initiative, which includes powerful professional development opportunities throughout recipients’ careers. 

“Principal Trio embodies the qualities of a Milken Educator. She is innovative in her work, a proven leader in her school and community, and cares for each and every young learner in her school,” said Stephanie Bishop, vice president of the Milken Educator Awards and a 2001 Virginia Milken Educator. “Madison Elementary’s motto is ‘Stronger Together,’ and through Principal Trio’s leadership, they are! Congratulations; We are thrilled to honor you today.”

Hailed as the “Oscars of Teaching,” Milken Educator Awards inspire and uplift with the unique stories of educators making a profound difference for students, colleagues and communities. The specific states and schools on this year’s winners’ list remain a closely guarded secret until each Award is announced.

“It is with great pride that I welcome Mrs. Trio to West Virginia’s strong legacy of Milken Educator ranks,” said State Superintendent of Schools and 1993 West Virginia Milken Educator David L. Roach. “While this Award reflects her commitment as an instructional leader to her students, her community offers the best testament of her work and her love for and belief in her students.

“Mrs. Trio understands the importance of caring for the whole child, and her school and community carry out that vision each day. She and her team have ensured that the effective instructional practices include academic, behavioral and mental health support. Even before the pandemic, she created and implemented a model that addressed the heightened needs and behaviors schools were seeing increasingly across the nation.

“I applaud her for leading under the motto of ‘Stronger Together,’ and with the love she has for her children as reflected in the work ongoing at Madison Elementary.”

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