2017-18 Milken Educators

Photo 18 of 44 Massachusetts Dan Adler


This is what it looks like when you call your mom to tell her you were surprised with the Milken Educator Award and $25,000 at what you thought was an ordinary all-school assembly! Dan Adler, who teaches sixth-grade science at UP Academy Leonard (UAL) in Lawrence, Massachusetts, wants to be the next Bill Nye, the pop culture icon who inspires kids to love science. Dan reaches out to the school's most at-risk scholars, channeling his inner rock star in class with original science-themed lyrics set to popular melodies, and using games like charades and Simon Says to keep students engaged.

Sitting on the floor surrounded by his students at his surprise notification on November 1, 2017, Dan sat perfectly still when Dr. Jane Foley called his name, his expression changing from shock to semi-confusion to pure happiness as the room filled with cheers, applause and snaps. Later, he told a reporter that the Award speaks to the diligence of his students: "They really have taught me the value of hard work." Dan is the very first Milken Educator from Lawrence Public Schools.


All photos should be credited to "Milken Family Foundation" unless otherwise noted.

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