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aMAzing Educators

Milken Family Foundation National Educator Awards

Goals of the Milken Family Foundation National Educator Awards program include honoring and rewarding outstanding K-12 educators for the quality of their teaching, their professional leadership, their engagement with families and the community, and their potential for even greater contributions to the healthy development of children. Goals also include focusing public attention on the importance of excellent educators and encouraging able, caring and creative people to choose the challenge, service and adventure of teaching as a career.

Based on guidelines established by the Foundation, participating states' departments of education appoint blue-ribbon committees that recommend candidates for selection. Identification and selection procedures are confidential, and the program does not include a formal nomination or application procedure.

2023 Massachusetts Milken Educator

Prior to becoming a reading interventionist, Leigh Beson taught first grade at Dighton Elementary and used a combination of meticulous planning and adaptability to give each student the supports they needed to grow. Those who work with her say she has a keen sense of which student might need immediate help at any given time and when they can continue working on their own. Ms. Beson has served on district literacy committees and committees about multi-tiered systems of supports, and it wasn't unusual for other educators to observe her classroom for ideas and inspiration on how to improve their own teaching.

Ms. Beson, a Rochester resident, received a bachelor's degree in English from Fordham University in 2009 and a master's degree in teaching from Northeastern University in 2012. She has worked at Dighton Elementary since 2018 and has been a teacher since 2012.

Leigh Beson
Reading Interventionist
Dighton Elementary School
Dighton-Rehoboth Regional School District

2023 Massachusetts Milken Educator, Leigh Beson

Massachusetts Milken Educators


  • Taylor Thai, Kindergarten and First Grade Teacher of Multilingual Students
    Donovan Elementary School, Randolph


  • Margaret Hersey, English Teacher
    Springfield Honors Academy, Springfield


  • Jennifer Gordon, Librarian
    Benjamin Banneker Charter Public School, Cambridge


  • Dan Adler, Science Teacher
    UP Academy Leonard, Lawrence


  • Michelle Ryan, History Teacher
    Randolph High School, Randolph


  • Anthony Petrelis, Teacher
    McGlynn Elementary School, Medford

  • 2013

  • James Moonan, Teacher
    Pierce Middle School, Milton

  • 2012

  • Allan Cameron, Principal
    Deerfield Elementary School, Westwood

  • 2011

  • Derek Vandegrift, History Teacher
    Waltham High School, Waltham

  • 2010

  • Roni Gold, Teacher
    Rebecca Johnson School, Springfield

  • 2009

  • Rebecca Duda, Teacher
    Lakeview Junior High School, Dracut

  • 2008

  • Chris Louis Sardella, Teacher
    Marion E. Zeh Elementary School, Northborough

  • 2007

  • Anne Clark, Curriculum and Special
    Education Coordinator; ELA Teacher,
    Boston Arts Academy, Boston

  • Matthew Dugan, Teacher
    Madison Park Technical Vocational High, Boston

  • 2006

  • Nicholas Leonardos, Principal
    South Elementary School, Stoneham

  • Amanda Sequin, Teacher
    Curtis Guild Elementary, East Boston

  • 2005

  • Thabiti Akil Brown, Academic Dean
    Codman Academy Charter, Boston

  • Jasmine Lellock, Teacher
    Randolph High, Randolph

  • 2004

  • Michael Aw, Teacher
    Memorial Elementary, Hopedale

  • Holly Concannon, Teacher
    RJ Murphy, Boston

  • 2003

  • Michael Barton, Teacher
    Greater Lowell Voc. Tech. School,

  • Timothy Farmer, Principal
    Remington Middle School, Franklin

  • 2002

  • Mary Cowhey, Teacher
    Jackson Street School, Northampton

  • Michael Stanton, Teacher
    Ralph Talbot Primary, Weymouth

  • 2001

  • June Eressy, Teacher
    University Park Campus, Worcester

  • Catherine Latham, Teacher
    Lynn English High

  • Edward Noonan, Teacher
    Dorchester High, Boston

  • 2000

  • Holli Armstrong, Teacher
    Old Post Road Elementary, Walpole

  • Lucille Ferragamo, Teacher
    Whelan Elementary, Revere

  • Mary Meade-Montaque, Principal
    Roosevelt Elementary, Worcester

  • Elaine Swain, Teacher
    R. J. Murphy Elementary, Boston

  • 1999

  • Jim DeProfio, Teacher
    Lowell High School

  • Chuck McAfee, Principal
    Clarence Edwards Middle, Boston

  • Karin Orbon, Teacher
    North Brookfield High

  • Janice Smith, Teacher
    Weymouth Junior High

  • 1998

  • Wayne Boisselle, Teacher
    Dawson Elementary, Holden

  • William Henderson, Principal
    Patrick O'Hearn, Boston

  • Sue Pandiani, Teacher
    Ella F. Hoxie, Bourne

  • Sheila Smith-McAdams, Teacher
    Winthrop Elementary, Ipswich

  • 1997

  • Patricia Clem, Principal
    Powder Mill Middle, Southwick

  • Michael Contompasis, Headmaster
    Boston Latin, Boston

  • Maria Ferrandini, Teacher
    Charles C. Cashman Elementary, Amesbury

  • Alice Garcia, Teacher
    City View Elementary, Worcester

  • Kevin McArdle, Principal
    Heath Brook School, Tewksbury

  • David Vito, Teacher
    North Attleborough High

  • Joan Vohl Hamilton, Teacher
    Fairview Veterans Memorial Middle, Chicopee

  • Alma Wright, Teacher
    William Monroe Trotter Elementary, Boston

  • Last Updated: August 28, 2023

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