Skip to main content

UP Academy Leonard Science Teacher Dan Adler Wins Prestigious Milken Educator Award

BOSTON, MA – The Milken Family Foundation today announced the winners of the 2017 Milken Educator Award. Surrounded by cheering students and colleagues, Dan Adler, a 6th grade science teacher at UP Academy Leonard, was the first teacher from UP Education Network, and the only teacher in Massachusetts this year, to receive this prestigious award. 

“We are extremely proud of Dan and the entire team at UP Academy Leonard.  He is a phenomenal teacher who deeply connects with his students; pushing them to learn and awakening the future scientist in every student.” says Veronica Conforme, CEO of UP Education Network. “He creates a classroom where scholars think critically, analyze complex information, and solve real-world problems.” 

UP has made remarkable progress turning around some of the most struggling schools in Massachusetts. At UP Academy Leonard, where 82 percent of students speak a language other than English at home, and 35 percent are English Language Learners, Dan’s work has contributed to helping students in the school perform better academically and succeed later in life.

“It's wonderful to see Dan recognized for the results he's helped his students achieve - he cares deeply for his students and makes learning fun,” said Komal Bhasin, Principal of UP Academy Leonard.

Beyond the classroom, Dan is very involved in the community and organizes and participates in many school events. Dan encourages his students to go out and research a problem in their community, then make a presentation to their fellow students, teachers, and other guests in the annual schoolwide Service Fair. He has a large influence on UP Academy Leonard’s science program, even helping to secure a national grant to improve the school’s science facilities. He leads professional development seminars, mentors new teachers and his former students, and is an active member of Teach Plus. 

“In short, Dan is a prime example of a teacher leader in UP Education Network,” said Sheri Leo, Chief Talent Officer at UP Education Network.

About Dan Adler:
Dan Adler is a 6th grade Science teacher at UP Academy Leonard. After receiving his bachelors degree in history and molecular biophysics and biochemistry from Yale in 2007 and went to work in the nonprofit and private sectors. He received a Master of Education in curriculum and teaching from Boston University in 2014, and decided to go into teaching to better the lives of others.

Mr. Adler is known for incorporating music and games into his teaching, which often draws comparison to his idol, Bill Nye. His methods help his students understand and get excited about science, but also ensure that at-risk students are not left behind. He makes sure to work with struggling students personally to make sure they are keeping pace with the rest of his classroom.

Beyond the classroom he is a leader at UP Academy Leonard, and has shaped the science program, helped get a grant to improve UP’s science facilities, and authored policy papers for policymakers. He is a shining example of a teacher leader.