At Buckeye Elementary, Principal Megan Brown leads her team with one key mantra: Educate all students. Formerly an assistant principal at Buckeye, the district’s largest school, Brown took the helm in January 2021 amid continued pandemic disruptions. Determined to improve student performance, she implemented phonics, small-group instruction and a Tier 1 literacy support plan, adding dedicated staff time to engage in conversations about needed interventions for every student. Brown secured federal school improvement grants to fund interventions and supported teachers consistently and effectively as they added new programs and strategies to improve student learning outcomes. With Brown’s guidance, Buckeye Elementary improved from an F rating in 2018-19 to a B in 2021-22 and is no longer identified by the state as needing comprehensive support and improvement (CSI). At a time when teachers are leaving schools across the country, Buckeye’s staff retention rate has risen to 90% since Brown took over as principal.
Brown creates a school culture that celebrates all growth and exudes joy and passion for both student and teacher learning. She advocates for all students, including those in Buckeye’s self-contained special education programs, and values student “voice and choice” in daily decision-making to move the school forward. Brown mentored new assistant principals when she served in that role and now mentors new principals in the district. She is a professional learning community (PLC) facilitator and works with district kindergarten teachers in their PLC. Brown visits classrooms regularly, part of her mission to systematically improve instructional practices by motivating and engaging staff to co-create instructional models that support all learning.
A master communicator who prioritizes relationships with stakeholders, Brown keeps families, staff and the local community up to date on the developments at Buckeye Elementary through email blasts and social media. At her carnival-like Title I night, parents rotated through academically oriented game booths that shared learning strategies. During the pandemic, Brown led Buckeye’s efforts to make sure student progress continued seamlessly. She coordinated with the school’s social worker to deliver food to families in need and engaged community partners to provide all Buckeye Elementary families with mobile hotspots for internet access.
Brown is a graduate of the University of Wyoming, earning a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education in 2011 and a Master of Arts in educational leadership in 2017.
Press release: Arizona Principal Megan Brown Clinches $25,000 Milken Educator Award For Taking Teaching and Learning to New Heights
"This is in my blood — this is what I was born to do. This Award validates that I'm in the right spot, doing the right things. I'm..." (read more)
2017 M.A., Educational Leadership, University of Wyoming
2011 B.A., Elementary Education, University of Wyoming