A teacher from Milwaukee Public Schools’ Parkview School was honored today by Chance the Rapper, who also made a surprise donation of $30,000 to the teacher and her school during this Teacher Appreciation Week.
Margaret Roushar, a first grade teacher at Parkview, a K4-5th grade school at 10825 W. Villard Ave., joined Chance during the second night of the inaugural Twilight Awards Thursday evening and was presented with $15,000, and another $15,000 for her school.
Roushar is one of 10 teachers from around the nation honored during the awards show. Each teacher and school received $30,000 from the hip-hop star. Four Chicago teachers and their schools were awarded during the first broadcast on Wednesday.
On Thursday's broadcast – which focuses on teachers beyond the Windy City – Chance the Rapper said he wanted to, "give teachers the respect they deserve for educating our children.
"When a lot of projects got shut down, Box Tops for Education came to me right away and said, 'let's do a live stream'. They're an awesome organization."
The show is named for educator Alexander Twilight, who was not only the first black man known to earn a bachelor's degree from a U.S. college but also the first to be elected to a state legislature. He graduated from Middlebury College in 1823 and in 1836 was elected to a seat in the Vermont House of Representatives.
The Twilight Awards show is streaming now via the Instagram account of Chance the Rapper, who launched The Twilight Awards with General Mills’ Box Tops for Education to spotlight teachers who are making an impact both in and out of school.
View this post on Instagram
🚨🚨Tonight’s the night! I will be kicking off the first virtual Twilight Awards show brought to you by Box Tops for Education. Make sure to tune in tonight, tomorrow and Friday at 7pm CT on Instagram Live. I’ll be talking to some amazing teachers who are doing amazing things! @BTFE #TwilightAwards #BoxTopsForEducation #TeacherAppreciationWeek
"Teachers ... have what I consider to be probably the most important job in our country," the rapper recently told Billboard magazine. "And ... my appreciation for teachers got even deeper after the start of this quarantine."
After some technical difficulties, Roushar was the first to be honored Thursday night and was interviewed by the rapper.
"This sounds like an A-1 person," said Chance the Rapper of the Milwaukee teacher. "Not just as a teacher. She spent her stimulus check on other people's kids. This is deep."
"I'm so excited about this," enthused Roushar. "I feel such gratitude for this. I've touched (my students) over the years and they've touched me."
During the pandemic shutdown, Roushar, who has been teaching for 11 years, has still been teaching and supporting her students. She was recently featured on a local news broadcast when it was learned she was spending her $1,200 government stimulus check on learning materials and games for her 19 students, to whom she has been sending care packages through the mail.
"Despite the challenges this pandemic has brought upon us, Ms. Roushar's work is a shining example of the commitment our educators and administration continue to have for our children," said MPS Superintendent Dr. Keith P. Posley.
"This week and every week, Milwaukee Public Schools is grateful for the dedication our teachers give to our students. We are thankful for Chance the Rapper and Box Tops for their recognition of Ms. Roushar, their donation to Parkview, and their shared appreciation of our educators."
Chance the Rapper – a Chicago-born rapper whose real name is Chancelor Bennett – has 11.7 million followers on Instagram. In 2017, Chance made headlines by donating $1 million to Chicago Public Schools.
Before the event was postponed by the coronavirus outbreak, UNICEF Chicago had planned to honor Chance the Rapper for his activism at its annual gala by presenting him with its Humanitarian Award.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.