Montgomery principal awarded $25K Milken Educator Award

Published: Oct. 19, 2022 at 5:18 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 19, 2022 at 10:27 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - It was a warm welcome Wednesday from Dalraida Elementary School Principal Bryan Cutter. His students packed the cafeteria for an assembly on test scores, or so he thought.

“I was really speechless, still am, still in shock,” Cutter said.

The principal was awarded the national Milken Educator Award for his commitment to student success.

The award was described as the “Oscar” for teaching staff. Cutter also received $25,000, which he plans to use to support his two daughters and grandchild.

“I want to sacrifice and go back to my family because they supported me,” Cutter said.

It was an enormous surprise from the Milken Family Foundation, which continues to reward hard-working educators amid the current teacher shortage.

“Think about those great teachers you had in your life, and how much they did for you,” said Jane Foley, senior vice president of the Milken Educator Awards. “We want to do that for all of our educators in this time.”

Cutter has been in education for 12 years and is known for his compassionate personality.

The Montgomery Public Schools superintendent said he is incredibly student-centered and has a special knack for motivating his staff.

“I’ve been holding this for two weeks,” said Melvin Brown, superintendent for Montgomery Public Schools. “I’m just glad it’s out of the bag now. To have an opportunity to have one of our educators celebrated on a national stage is amazing.”

The principal’s Milken Educator Award was the only one presented in the state of Alabama.

“If I could share this award with everyone, I would, because we all are in the trenches together,” Cutter said. “We all are doing what’s best for our students to the best of our ability.”

He was also a former Montgomery Public Schools student himself, allowing him to understand the challenges his students face and how to better handle them.

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