By Robert Geha, Cowboy State Daily
The principal of a Cheyenne junior high school on Monday was recognized as one of the top educators in the nation with a Milken Educator Award.
Brian Cox, principal of Johnson Junior High School, is Wyoming’s only teacher to win one of the Milken awards and is one of only 40 teachers nationally to win the prize and accompanying $25,000 cash payment.
Cox, who oversees a staff of about 100 at Johnson, was recognized for his commitment to putting students first, urging them to focus on leadership skills in addition to academics. He is known for challenging his students to realize that their goals for the future often depend on academic success.
Cox was given the award during an assembly at Johnson on Monday. Although he was told what the assembly about, he was not informed he was to be the recipient of the prize until it was given to him.
State and Cheyenne educators joined legislators and representatives of Wyoming’s congressional delegation as the presentation was made by Greg Gallagher, a senior program director for the Milken Educator Award, and Wyoming Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow.
“A savvy and committed principal like Brian Cox can have a profound effect on so many lives,” Gallagher said. “Through personal commitment to individual students, dedicated community outreach and staff development initiatives, Principal Cox is creating a better future for all.”
“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,” Balow said. “Brian’s enthusiasm is infectious, and he’s a champion for students.