The nation’s eyes are on Jesup, Georgia, today as Colt Brockington, a science teacher at Wayne County High School (WCHS), became the state’s sole 2023-24 recipient of the Milken Educator Award. The WCHS alum supports students’ academic success — teaching classes ranging from special education (SPED) biology to honors physics — while remaining dedicated to his duties as an athletic coach and a leader within the school and district. Today, Brockington’s efforts were recognized broadly with the prestigious Award — and a life-size, unrestricted $25,000 check.
The all-school assembly began this morning with a visit from Deputy Superintendent of Rural Education and Innovation at the Georgia Department of Education Dr. Bronwyn Ragan-Martin and Georgia State Board of Education Member Nicholas Ellis, who were there to celebrate student growth and help kick off the second semester. Then, the assembly took an exciting turn when Ellis introduced a surprise guest, Milken Educator Awards Vice President Stephanie Bishop. In the blink of an eye, Brockington’s day went from ordinary to extraordinary when he was presented with the $25,000 Award. Congressman Earl L. “Buddy” Carter joined in the celebration along with cheering students, colleagues, fellow dignitaries, and media.
“Colt Brockington approaches every educational opportunity with a refreshing sense of diligence, dedication and heart that leads to significant, positive outcomes for students,” said Bishop, who is also a 2001 Virginia Milken Educator. “Whether he is leading in the classroom or on the field, Colt’s presence inspires those around him to want to be better. This team player will surely have a whole new set of fans within the Milken Educator Network. Congratulations, Colt!”
Brockington is the first Milken Educator Award recipient from Wayne County School System since 1999, when Amy Denty received her Award at Arthur Williams Middle School. Denty, now the director of literacy at the Georgia Department of Education, joined in today’s celebration alongside several fellow Georgia Milken Educators.
“I am extremely grateful that Colt Brockington chose to enter the education profession and is making a difference in the lives of Georgia students each and every day,” Georgia State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “Georgia’s teachers are the ones making education work in our state – it’s through their efforts that all educational achievement takes place. On behalf of our education family, congratulations to Mr. Brockington on his receipt of this well-deserved award!”
Hailed as the “Oscars of Teaching,” the Awards will honor up to 75 recipients across the country in 2023-24 as part of the Milken Family Foundation’s Journey to the 3,000th Milken Educator. 2023-24 will reach $75 million in individual financial prizes spanning the length of the initiative and more than $144 million invested in the Milken Educator Award national network overall, empowering recipients to “Celebrate, Elevate, and Activate” the K-12 profession and inspiring young, capable people to pursue teaching as a career.
Brockington was completely unaware of his candidacy for the Award. Recipients are sought out while early to mid-career for what they have achieved – and for the promise of what they will accomplish given the resources and opportunities afforded by the Award.
More About Colt Brockington
A Motivating and Mindful Educator: Colt Brockington, for many years, considered becoming a pharmacist. However, as time moved on, Brockington realized that his true passion lies within education. Now, he is thriving as a science teacher at his alma mater Wayne County High School (WCHS). Brockington teaches a variety of courses to accommodate all students, ranging from special education (SPED) biology to honors physics. He commands respect in the classroom and maintains high expectations of both himself and students while promoting a rigorous yet nurturing academic culture. A data-driven educator, Brockington helped develop a cross-class flexing plan within his professional learning community (PLC). Working alongside colleagues, he helps to analyze student assessment data, then splits students up into groups based on their need. In the days following an assessment, the biology team at WCHS will rotate, or “share,” the different groups across classes, ensuring that each student receives differentiated instruction that accommodates their varying needs. Thanks in large part to Brockington’s efforts, WCHS students outperform the state in science and have yielded a No. 1 overall ranking in their Regional Educational Service Agency (RESA) district.
Modeling True Teamwork: Brockington regularly collaborates with colleagues as a teacher leader on the WCHS instructional leadership team (ILT) by sharing new practices, modeling lessons, working with PLCs and leading professional development sessions on topics such as data-driven instruction, differentiation, academic writing and test preparation. Eager to continue his growth as an educator, Brockington has sought out additional certifications in instructional coaching and gifted endorsements. At the district level, he is a leader within the new teacher mentorship program, in which he delivers professional learning presentations and trains new mentors. Additionally, Brockington serves on WCHS’ Leader in Me Lighthouse Team.
Supporting Well-Rounded Students: A leader “on the field,” Brockington draws from his experience as a former baseball player to excel in his roles as the head WCHS softball coach, assistant baseball coach and athletic academic advisor. He maintains an equal commitment to academics and athletics by connecting students with tutors as well as promoting goal-setting and progress-monitoring. He upholds an honest and consistent line of strength-based communication with students, parents and colleagues, focused on reinforcing strengths and refining areas of need, to provide his students with a full, well-rounded school experience.
Education: Brockington earned a Bachelor of Biological Sciences with a secondary education concentration from the College of Coastal Georgia in 2017.
More about the Milken Educator Award Journey: “The Future Belongs to the Educated”
· The honorees attend an all-expenses-paid Milken Educator Awards Forum in Los Angeles this June, where they will network with their new colleagues as well as veteran Milken Educators and other education leaders about how to broaden their impact on K-12 education.
· Honorees receive powerful mentorship opportunities for expanded leadership roles that strengthen education practice and policy. Milken Friends Forever (MFF) pairs a new recipient with a veteran Milken Educator mentor; the Expanding MFF Resource and Explorer Program fosters individual veteran Milken Educator partnerships around a specific topic area; and Activating Milken Educators (AME) promotes group collaboration in and across states to tackle pressing educational needs.
· Veteran Milken Educators demonstrate a wide range of leadership roles at state, national and international levels.
· The $25,000 cash Award is unrestricted. Recipients have used the money in diverse ways. Some recipients have spent the funds on their children’s or their own continuing education, financing dream field trips, establishing scholarships, and even adopting children.