Congratulations to Brian Cox and Julie Rowell, two exceptional AVID educators who just won the Milken Educator Award, often referred to as the “Oscar of Education.” When considering award recipients, the Milken Family Foundation “targets early-to-mid career education professionals for their already impressive achievements and, more significantly, for the promise of what they will accomplish in the future.” Milken Awards are given out at surprise assemblies, so the entire school can cheer on the winners.
Brian Cox is the principal for Johnson Junior High School in Cheyenne, Wyoming. He researched, advocated for, and implemented AVID at Johnson to help students focus on their futures and guide teachers in offering them the support to create those futures.
“I’ve had the opportunity to visit Johnson Junior High and watch Brian interact with teachers and students in such an engaging and positive manner,” said Wyoming Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow. “Brian’s enthusiasm is infectious, and he’s a champion for students. As a proponent of the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program, Brian challenges his students to set goals and thus focus on achievement. Brian also is insistent that each student is guided toward some form of postsecondary training, whether that be military service, a career, or college.”
Julie Rowell is an AVID Elective and ELL teacher at Gresham High School in Gresham, Oregon. She believes in removing barriers and expanding opportunities for all students, and it shows. Her students regularly advance more than a year per grade, and Rowell helps put them on a pathway to higher education by deploying student-centric AVID strategies. She often encourages her ELL students to join AVID to help them reach their college and career goals.
“A teacher like Julie Rowell knows how to really connect with students and make an extraordinary impact,” said Greg Gallagher, Senior Program Director at the Milken Family Foundation. “Her dedication, commitment, and creative approach exemplify the inspirational leadership we seek in our Milken Educators.”
As part of the award, educators receive $25,000 to spend as they would like as well as access to networking and development tools to use throughout their careers.