Johnson Junior High School educator receives Milken Award

Published: Dec. 9, 2019 at 6:58 PM CST
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A local Cheyenne educator was honored on Dec. 9 by his entire student body and faculty. A student assembly Johnson Junior High School Principal Brian Cox thought was set up to hear solely from State Superintendent Jillian Balow quickly turned into quite the surprise… For him.

The only educator this year from Wyoming and one of up to 40 across the nation to be awarded with the Milken award is Principal Brian Cox. Cox received the award which is often referred to as the “Oscars of Teaching” in the world of education.

“He cares deeply about education, he cares deeply about people and he has an intensity that’s both infectious as well as makes you want to be your very best no matter if you’re a student in a classroom or on his faculty,” said Superintendent Jillian Balow.

The slogan of the Milken Educator Awards is “The future belongs to the educated.” Principal Cox says he wakes up at 2:30 a.m. each day to make sure he’s ready for the day to support his students and his faculty.

“I will tell you this is my home, this is where I’m proud to be, I am a Firebird and it’s because of you all,” said Brian Cox. “Working at Johnson Junior High School changes your life.”

Another part of the Milken Award aside from being recognized for his achievements in education is the unrestricted money award of $25,000. Cox says he and his wife started a scholarship fund and he plans to put some of the money towards that scholarship.

Superintendent Balow explained that she could not be more proud to present the award to Brian Cox.

“It’s inspiring,” said Balow. “The students are inspired, the adults in the room are inspired and it’s a really great way to honor some of the folks in our communities that do the most important jobs.”

Cox thanks his wife, children, family, students, and faculty and says he’s been able to bring in people who he knew to be great educators and make a positive impact with his team.

“A lot of times people look down on our school,” said Cox. “They have perceptions and images about this school and they’ve never step foot inside so I welcome anyone from our community around the state to please come by and see what Firebird nation is all about.”