“She’s worked so hard:” MPS teacher honored for long-standing support of MLK celebration

MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee Public Schools and the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts on Friday, January 12th honored a local elementary school teacher’s long-standing support of the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration. The ceremony was a surprise.

Ms. Desire Tyler

It didn't take long for Ms. Tyler to know something was up. This, after her principal and an entourage of photographers barged into her classroom Friday morning  with an important announcement.

"I'm very pleased to recognize Ms. Tyler," said Principal Thomas Mathews.

For more than 20 years,  Ms. Tyler has diligently worked with students, teaching then about the life and beliefs of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

"She's worked so hard for this," said Sophia Wood, student.

She has enrolled students in different city-wide Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  contests throughout the years. Two of her classes and five of her students have won city-wide awards.

The Marcus Center for Performing Arts says it was about time Ms. Tyler won an award, too.

"What you do is so significant and we think that, not only are we keeping Dr. King's legacy alive, we are training future leaders, so we want to say thank you. Thank you," said Paul Mathews, Marcus Center for the Performing Arts.

As a token of their appreciation, Ms. Tyler received a plaque, flowers, an iPad, and tickets to a Broadway show.

Ms. Desire Tyler

"It just feels good to let them see hard work pay off," said Ms. Desire Tyler.

A round of applause from the most important people in Ms. Tyler's room -- the future leaders with whom she shares Dr. King's message of acceptance.

Trowbridge School of Great Lakes Studies

"They are going to live with it and remember it, and pass it on to their kids. So, it's just really important to me that they know just how important it is," said Ms. Tyler.

One of Ms. Tyler's students, 3rd grader Sophia Wood, place third in this year's essay contest.

This year will mark the 34th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration in Milwaukee – one of just two cities that have celebrated the holiday annually since 1984.  The celebration will take place at the Marcus Center on Sunday, January, 14 at 1 p.m. and is free and open to the public.