For Immediate Release
Wednesday, November 1, 2017
Contact:Jacqueline Reis 781-338-3115, 781-605-4419, and Jana Rausch 310-570-4774, 310-435-9259,

Lawrence Teacher Receives National Milken Award

LAWRENCE - A Lawrence middle school science teacher today was surprised with a prestigious 2017 Milken Educator Award. Dan Adler, a sixth-grade science teacher at UP Academy Leonard Middle School, became the state's 44th Milken Award winner. He is the only Massachusetts recipient in 2017-18, the first Lawrence honoree, and one of up to 45 recipients across the country this school year. The Milken Award recognizes exemplary elementary and secondary school teachers, principals and specialists who are furthering excellence in education. The award comes with an unrestricted financial award of $25,000. "We are extremely proud of Mr. Adler and congratulate him on this distinct national recognition" said Governor Charlie Baker. "Massachusetts leads the country in education because of teachers like Mr. Adler who work with their fellow faculty to engage students with challenging curriculum to prepare them for successful careers in the classroom and beyond." "The Commonwealth is fortunate to have great teachers like Mr. Adler who inspire students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math," said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, co-chair of the Massachusetts STEM Advisory Council. "His tireless commitment to Lawrence students and UP Academy Leonard is a model for all of us." "UP Academy Leonard students have come to trust Mr. Adler, who provides students with extra help after school and even after they have graduated from his class," said Education Secretary James Peyser. "He is a strong representative of all Massachusetts teachers." During an assembly at the school today, Mr. Adler was presented with his award by Dr. Jane Foley, senior vice president of the Milken Educator Awards and a Milken recipient herself, and Elementary and Secondary Education Acting Commissioner Jeff Wulfson. "In addition to Mr. Adler's remarkable work inside the classroom, he has found time to work with other educators on curriculum and education policy," Commissioner Wulfson said. "He is the definition of a teacher leader." Mr. Adler is a science teacher and has served as one of UP Academy Leonard's cohort leaders, leading a team of six teachers who each work with the same group of 60 students. The curriculum he developed at UP Academy Leonard has been used by many sixth grade science teachers in the UP Education Network. In addition, he was a 2014-15 Teaching Policy Fellow at Teach Plus. Mr. Adler, a Somerville resident, received a bachelor's degree in history and molecular biophysics and biochemistry from Yale University and a master's degree in curriculum and teaching from Boston University. Mr. Adler has worked at UP Academy Leonard for four years and also served as the 2014-15 Biogen Idec Ambassador for Teach For America Massachusetts. Before coming to Lawrence, he was a sixth grade science teacher at Prospect Hill Academy Charter School in Somerville, and his previous jobs included working as a senior special projects associate for Year Up and an analyst at Oliver Wyman, where he provide consulting services to technology companies. "Leadership is a key quality we look for in a Milken Educator, and Mr. Adler demonstrates leadership in a wide range of strategies," Dr. Foley said. "From curriculum development and professional learning to mentoring and amplifying his voice in education policy, Dan consistently goes the extra mile to move the needle for his students and the school at large. I am confident he will be an excellent asset to our national Milken Educator Network." The Milken Family Foundation first presented the Milken Educator Awards in 1987. Massachusetts joined the program in 1997. Since then, $1.1 million has been awarded to recipients in Massachusetts. Recipients can use their $25,000 award in any way they choose. Awards alternate yearly between elementary and secondary educators. For more information on the Milken Educator Awards program, visit their website at ###

Last Updated: November 1, 2017

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