Buffalo Teacher Wins National Milken Educator Award for Excellence And $25,000 Cash Prize

Jessica Kavitz, a kindergarten teacher at Meadowlark Elementary School in Buffalo, on Tuesday received the Oscar of Teaching the Milken Educator Award for teacher excellence.

November 30, 20222 min read

Meadowlark Jessica Kavitz reaction 11 30 22
(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

By Cowboy State Daily 

A kindergarten teacher in Buffalo is the first in her district to receive the “Oscar of Teaching” – the Milken Educator Award for teacher excellence.  

Jessica Kavitz teaches at Meadowlark Elementary School, where she eases students into the school year with movement, colorful and creative exercises, and social and emotional learning tools, according to a Tuesday press release.  

Kavitz’s mother was an educator in Gillette for nearly 30 years, the release notes.  

At a schoolwide assembly Tuesday, Wyoming Superintendent of Public Instruction Brian Schroeder presented Kavitz with the award and an unrestricted $25,000 cash prize.  

Jessica Kavitz, center, received $25,000 as part of being named a Milken Educator Award winner. (Photo Courtesy Milken Educator Awards)

Kavitz is among about 40 elementary school educators nationwide who will receive the award this school year. She’s the first recipient of the award from Johnson County School District No. 1, the statement says.  

“Jessica Kavitz is the kind of teacher you hope your children have for their first year of school – compassionate, thoughtful and engaging. Jessica’s classroom is a nonstop learning hub that prepares students well for their academic journeys,” said Greg Gallagher, Milken Educator Awards Senior Program director, in the prepared statement.  

“Jessica is a shining star among Wyoming’s excellent teachers. She is creative, dedicated and genuinely believes in her students. Congratulations to Jessica – Wyoming is very proud of you!” added Chad Auer, Wyoming’s deputy superintendent of public instruction. 

Now on their 35th year, the Milken Educator Awards are intended to inspire and uplift with unique stories of educators making a profound difference for students, colleagues and communities. The specific states and schools on this year’s winners’ list remain a closely guarded secret until each Award is announced, the statement says.  

Share this article