Truman Professor and Milken Educator, Dr. Jeff Gall

Truman Professor and Milken Educator, Dr. Jeff Gall

February 15, 2016

When reminiscing about their school days, every person remembers a certain teacher. The teacher whose class was a step above the rest, who made a personal connection with all of their students and who truly cared for the future. These teachers receive appreciation and recognition in many forms, but none as great as the as the Milken Educator Award.

The Milken Educator Awards program “rewards and inspires excellence in the world of education by honoring top educators around the country with $25,000 unrestricted awards. Not an accolade for “lifetime achievement” or the proverbial gold watch at the exit door, the Milken Educators Awards targets early-to-mid career education professionals for their already impressive achievements and, more significantly, for the promise of what they will accomplish in the future.”[1] It is not only a reward acknowledging the great culmination of achievements the teacher has achieved thus far, but also an award that speaks the anticipation that faculty and students have in regards to the capabilities of the teacher in the future. The recipients are “caught by surprise when their names are announced at emotional all-school assemblies in front of cheering students, proud colleagues, distinguished officials and the media.”[2] Over 2,600 educators have received this prestigious recognition since the program was founded back in 1987. Truman State University’s Education Department is proud to recognize one of our own renowned professors in celebration of his 20th anniversary of receiving one of the first Milken Educator Awards in the state of Missouri, Dr. Jeff Gall.


Dr. Jeff Gall. Photo credits:

In 1996, Dr. Gall was a history teacher at Lee’s Summit North High School in Lee’s Summit, MO where his teaching was praised, and his students loved his class. He was serving as coordinator for the International Baccalaureate history programs, which he had also implemented at the school, and was a faculty member for the Missouri Scholars Academy at the University of Missouri.  On June 1, 1996 at Lee Summit North High School, during an all-school assembly Lowell Milken began speaking about the need for quality educators, saying, “To the public we say, that educators have the most important job in this country today, and that excellence in education needs to be recognized.” Milken presented the shocked Dr. Jeff Gall with the Milken Award. When accepting the award, Dr. Gall quoted his friend saying, “Success is investing yourself in something that will outlive you.”

Reflecting on the 20 years that have passed since Dr. Jeffrey Gall was awarded this prestigious accolade, it is clear that he has not only lived up to the hopeful purpose of the Milken Educator Award, but also to that definition of success. He was recognized for his impressive achievements as a history teacher and has gone on to fulfill his promise for bettering the future. Dr. Gall served as an instrumental chairperson for his school’s Site-Based Team providing professional development for his colleagues at Lee’s Summit North High School, as the dean of the Joseph Baldwin Academy at Truman State University from 2004-2006, published a textbook called Missouri Our Home, and has gone on to be a professor of history and MAE director here at Truman State University.

Dr. Jeffrey Gall is currently featured on the Milken Educator Awards website in an article titled Why Great Teachers Matter: The Students of Dr. Jeff Gall[3]. To learn more about the Milken Educator Awards and Dr. Gall’s impressive impact in education[4] follow the links below.


[1] Learn more about the Milken Educator Awards at


[3] To read the current article Why Great Teachers Matter: The Students of Dr. Jeff Gall  click the following link

[4] To learn more about Dr. Gall’s impressive impact in the world of education click the following link

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