Educator Profile    Educators

Kirk Brown (CA '99)


Subject(s) taught: Biology, Biotechnology, STEM Administrator

At the time of the Award, Kirk Brown was:

Tracy Joint Union High School
Tracy, CA

Subject(s) taught: Biology/Life Science
Grade(s): 11, 12

Biographical Information

Kirk Brown taught biology and biotechnology in the International Baccalaureate program at Tracy High School in Tracy for 25 years. He is  was Nationally Board Certified in adolescent and young adult science for 20 years. Brown has collaborated with organizations ranging from the California Department of Education to the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. He was also an adjunct faculty member of San Joaquin Delta College. As a high school teacher, Brown inspired many graduating seniors to major in biology-related fields in college. Brown not only ignited their interest in science; he also provided them with the  skills and equipment used in research laboratories around the world. Brown co-created an integrated Agricultural/Scientific Academy at Tracy that is geared toward students interested in careers in agriculture, horticulture, veterinary science and medicine. Kirk authored a textbook, Biotechnology; A Laboratory Skills Course, published by Bio-Rad Laboratories that is used across the US and is now in its second edition.  He was the Division Director of STEM Programs at San Joaquin County Office of Education where he directed efforts for both the county and is Co-director of the Delta Sierra Science Project. Kirk was also the Co-Lead Writer of the CA Science Framework and was on the Science Expert Panel that advised the California Department of Education as they adopted the Next Generation Science Standards.  Kirk was most recently the Head of K-12 Programming for the Milken Center for Advancing the American Dream in Washington, D.C.  “I joined the Milken Center for Advancing the American Dream because I believe that everyone should have the tools and inspiration to be prepared to reach for their dreams.  Having recently retired, as I reflect on my 35 plus years in education, I have witnessed the power of helping someone realize that they can do what it takes to make their dreams come true.  

Personal Message

As a Milken educator, it is important to use your newfound attention to positively impact the profession. Many people will contact you to ask your opinion on various issues; you can provide the clear rationale for change in the profession and be a visible example to all those around you. To walk in your shoes might be challenging, but it could be motivating for others to see. As many states are focusing on accountability, it is important not to lose sight of the real reason we work so hard.... to create understanding, build excitement and to motivate those we touch.

Related Connections

Article: Milken Educators: Where Are They Now? (Part 2)

Educator Quote:

“As a Milken Educator, it is important to use your..." (read more)

Article: From Partnership to Product: The Birth of a Textbook

Additional Information


2011 Over 500 Presentation in 18 states and 4 countries

2011 Biotechnology; A Laboratory Skills Course Pub. Bio-Rad Laboratories

2010 Keynote: Noyce Scholars: Being a STEM Teacher in the 21st Century

2008 English, Gym, Algebra... Biotech: The Journal of Life Science June-July

2008 Keynote: NASA-AMES A Personal Perspective on Being a Teacher Scientist

2008 Keynote: CSU Fullerton Impact that a Teacher can Make

1997 Advanced Learning Opportunities for CA SSP Programs


2011 San Joaquin County Teacher of the Year

2008 Junior Science and Humanities Symposium Teacher of the Year

2008 Outstanding Science Teacher: Cortopassi Family Foundation

2007 Biotechnology Educator Award: BayBio inducted into 2007 Pantheon

2006 Outstanding Teacher of America: Carlston Family Foundation

2003 Outstanding Biology Teacher Awards: NABT


2003 National Board Certification

1992 M.A Education, UOP

1986 California State University - Stanislaus, B.A.

National Board Certification in Adolescent and Young Adult Science

Biotechnology education, IB Biology, STEM Education, K-12 Programming