Buckeye Elementary School principal receives prestigious $25K award

Principal Megan Brown (blue) learning during a Friday school assembly that she was being...
Principal Megan Brown (blue) learning during a Friday school assembly that she was being honored with a $25,000 Milken Educator Award.(Courtesy of the Milken Family Foundation)
Published: Mar. 31, 2023 at 4:44 PM MST|Updated: Mar. 31, 2023 at 5:10 PM MST
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BUCKEYE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — Buckeye Elementary School principal Megan Brown started her Friday getting ready for a visit from Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne to celebrate the school’s academic success. However, she was in for a surprise by the afternoon during a school assembly when she was given a cash prize of $25,000.

The prize comes from the Milken Educator Awards, which is given out by the Milken Family Foundation. According to its website, the nearly 40-year-old foundation gives out prizes to “early-to-mid career education professionals for their already impressive achievements ... for the promise of what they will accomplish in the future.”

Brown helped raise the school from an “F” rating when she was an assistant principal in 2018 to a “B” rating by 2021, when she became the school principal. She is among up to 40 elementary educators to receive the award this school year and the first from the Buckeye Elementary School District.

“Buckeye Elementary’s positive trajectory is nothing short of extraordinary, and Megan Brown is a guiding force for empowering teachers and students to reach their greatest potential,” said Dr. Foley, senior vice president at the Milken Family Foundation. “Her leadership is dynamic, collaborative and hands-on, making Buckeye a place where effective teachers want to stay and thrive.”

The Milken Educator Awards doesn’t have a formal nomination or application process. Instead, winners are sought out through a confidential selection process and then reviewed by panels in each state. The most exceptional candidates are recommended for an Award, with the final selection made by the Milken Family Foundation. The $25,000 is awarded without conditions, meaning winners can use the money however they want.

“This is in my blood — this is what I was born to do,” Brown said. “This award validates that I’m in the right spot, doing the right things.”