Jump to main content

Caleb Flores throwing his hands up in celebration

Greeley Educator, Alumnus, Honored with National Educator Award for Excellence

Maestro de Greeley, egresado de UNC, recibe Premio Nacional a la Excelencia Educativa

This year, the sole winner of the Milken Award, known as the "Oscars for Teaching," from Colorado was Greeley native and University of Northern Colorado alumnus Caleb Flores.

Photo courtesy of the Milken Family Foundation

Since 1987, the Milken Family Foundation has been recognizing top educators across the United States. Known as the “Oscars of Teaching,” the Milken Educator Awards honor excellence and specifically target early-to-mid-career education professionals who are currently accomplishing great things and show promise that those accomplishments will continue. This year, the sole winner of the $25,000 award from Colorado was Greeley native and University of Northern Colorado alumnus Caleb Flores. 

Flores, ‘16, M.A. ‘21, is an English language arts, reading and Culturally Linguistically Diverse teacher at Greeley West High School. He was surprised with the award during a school assembly on Dec. 15 that was presented by Milken Educator Awards Senior Vice President Dr. Jane Foley and Colorado Commissioner of Education Susana Córdova. 

"I heard them call my name and I couldn't believe it, I was shaking. It felt surreal," Flores told the Milken Family Foundation.

Flores has been described as an advocate for equitable education, ensuring all students, particularly those who are English Language Learners, have access to the resources they need to succeed both inside and outside of the classroom. He also serves as a mentor teacher to new hires at Greeley West and as a family and community liaison at the community college and in the high school.

"My grandpa went to school in Texas and he would be hit with a paddle every time he spoke Spanish. So, having that perspective of how times haven't always been easiest, I teach because I want my students to know that what they look like, where they come from and no matter what language they speak they can make something of themselves," Flores told the Milken Family Foundation. 

Flores letting his wife know he won the award

Flores was one of just 75 recipients across the country who will be honored in 2023-24 as part of the Milken Family Foundation’s Journey to the 3,000th Milken Educator. Read more about his accomplishments and see more of his reaction to receiving Colorado’s only 2023-24 Milken Educator Award. 

Caleb Flores holding up a big check with his students standing behind him

Caleb Flores hugging one of his male students

students holding up 25,000 in poster numbers

Caleb Flores holding up his big 25,000 check

Photos courtesy of the Milken Family Foundation

Also featured in:

More Stories