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OU-Tulsa Alumna Receives Prestigious Milken Educator Award

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April 8, 2022

OU-Tulsa Alumna Receives Prestigious Milken Educator Award

Aubrey Flowers hugging three students

Aubrey Flowers, principal of Council Oak Elementary School in Tulsa, claims it was a complete surprise when she was honored with a $25,000 Milken Educator Award at a schoolwide assembly in April. And the pictures prove it.

But if you look at Flowers’ career and dedication to education, both for students and herself, it might come as less of a surprise. Flowers is a 2017 graduate of the Master of Education in Administration program at OU-Tulsa and a current doctoral student in education administration. She started her graduate work to continue her passion for lifelong learning.

Aubrey Flowers, holding a microphone, addresses the assembly

The mother of five spent seven years teaching in the classroom and had taken advantage of all the professional development training she could. She says she got to the point where she was looking for a new way improve as an educator and as an advocate for children. That’s when she found the Masters in Educational Administration, Curriculum and Supervision at OU-Tulsa. And the program became even more important to Aubrey than she first recognized.

“My master’s program was food for my soul, it really was. As an employee, I had the hat that I wore as a teacher. And then at home, I had the hat that I wore as a wife and mom, but I would go to school and get to be Aubrey. And get to fuel my passion,” said Flowers.

And that passion for learning has continued as she pursues her doctorate in educational administration currently.

The Milken Educator Awards celebrates this desire to strive for the best by elevating the American teaching profession. It is not a lifetime achievement award, rather it honors educators in early to mid-career for what they will accomplish. Flowers was one of 60 recipients of the award nationwide, and two in Oklahoma. 

Aubrey Flowers looks on as a speaker speaks into a microphone

Flowers was honored with this award due to the calm confident leadership she has demonstrated in numerous situations as principal at Council Oak Elementary School. She competently led her school through the COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges of virtual learning. Her commitment to excellence has benefitted principals districtwide through her role this year as president of Tulsa Public Schools’ elementary principals association. Flowers is known as charismatic, engaging and inspiring to both students and faculty and cares deeply about students’ academic success.

“My role in education is to advocate for the potential in all children,” says Flowers. “I truly do believe in education as the foundation of our democracy. It is a beautiful component of our country and that access to education and amazing educational experiences are life-changing for people. And that is how we create the change that we want to see in the world, is that we invest in children.”