Educator Profile    Educators

Aaron Ferguson (CA '17)

Coordinator - Distance Learning

Oxnard Union High School District
Oxnard, CA

Grade(s): 9, 10, 11, 12

At the time of the Award, Aaron Ferguson was:

Pacifica High School
Oxnard, CA

Subject(s) taught: Earth Science/Space Science, Business/Office
Grade(s): 9, 10, 11, 12

Biographical Information

In the Academy of Business at Oxnard’s Pacifica High School, teacher Aaron Ferguson creates real-life learning experiences for students within the local business community, inspiring those of all ability levels to pursue challenging careers in business and preparing them to hit the ground running after high school and college. Through a partnership with Friends of Channel Islands Harbor, students in the “school within a school” Academy have created social media platforms to help local businesses market their services, yielding experience, connections and multiple summer internships in the process.

Ferguson puts students in the driver’s seat through project-based learning, emphasizing collaborative group work. His high standards and contagious can-do spirit increase both motivation and confidence for all students in the Academy. Ferguson’s students have delivered impressively under his care. Participation and enrollment in AP and honors courses are up, and Academy students perform well on state assessments and have high A-G completion rates (A-G courses are required for admission to California state universities). Last year, every student in the Academy of Business cohort graduated, despite a litany of family and other issues. Almost all are now in college.

Ferguson is a visible presence at Pacifica, an impressive feat on a campus of 3,000 students. He coordinates the “Win the Day Wednesday” segment on Pacifica’s daily live television broadcast, passing on college and career readiness information to the entire student body. Ferguson is also the senior class advisor, organizing important events like the senior barbecue and Grad Night. Because of Ferguson’s influence, both students and staff at Pacifica use Instagram and Twitter to showcase school projects and events and reinforce the school’s positive, college-bound culture. Ferguson coaches lacrosse; coordinates the Triton Transition program, through which older students mentor incoming freshmen to smooth their entry into high school; and is starting a social entrepreneurship program within the Academy of Business.

A former geological sciences consultant, Ferguson teaches ninth-grade Earth Science at Pacifica and geology at the local community college in addition to running the Academy. He serves as a Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS) coach, has led his grade-level team within the science department, mentors new teachers, sits on the district’s technology and career pathways committees, and has served as a site technology coach for his colleagues. Staff members consider him a natural leader and gravitate to him for advice, help and exemplary lessons.

Ferguson holds a bachelor’s in geology from California Lutheran University (2007) and a master’s in geosciences from Mississippi State University (2014).

Press release: Business is booming at Pacifica High School: Aaron Ferguson surprised with $25,000 Milken Educator Award!


Related Connections

Article: On the Hill: Milken Educators Meet with Congress

Article: Spotlight: 10 Questions for Aaron Ferguson (CA '17)

Educator Quote:

"Receiving the Milken Award has justified the hard work my..." (read more)

Aaron Ferguson In The News

The 'Oscar Winners' of Teaching Share Their Secrets for Success
EdWeek  |  Jan 05, 2018  |  Bethesda, MD

South Coast Teacher Receives National Honors, $25,000 Award
KCLU-FM  |  NPR  |  Oct 12, 2017  |  Thousand Oaks, CA

Pacifica High School teacher Wins Prestigious $25,000 Milken Educator Award
Ventura County Star  |  Oct 12, 2017  |  Camarillo, CA