SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - A South Florida middle school teacher became the only one in the state to receive a national award honoring the work of an educator.

The Milken Educator Award was presented under the guise of an all-school assembly at Howard D. McMillan Middle School, in Southwest Miami-Dade, Friday. Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart and Milken Educator Awards Senior Vice President Dr. Jane Foley presented the $25,000 award.

“There are many great teachers and principals in this country,” said Foley. “You can believe me when I say it because I’ve been everywhere.”

The middle school is an A-rated school among the many others across the nation, but only a certain number of people knew Dale Adamson would be taking home the prize, given to educators who exemplify excellence.

“Do you want to know who it is?” asked Foley to the crowd of students and faculty members. “OK, the Milken Educator Award goes to Dale Adamson!”

Adamson is one of 44 recipients of the honor, dubbed “the Oscars of teaching,” for the 2017-18 school year. “I know that I work hard every day, but to be recognized like this is just a complete surprise,” he said.

Adamson was a former student of McMillan Middle School and now teaches seventh and eighth grade algebra. He’s been teaching the subject for six years.

Speaking highly about his students, Adamson said they are a “reward every single day, the moment when they do something that absolutely blows you out of the water, when they come up with an idea that you could’ve never thought of, or when they understand a difficult concept right off the bat — and even when they don’t. When they struggle through it and they push through it and they persevere. That’s such a rewarding feeling.”

His sister and mother, who are also teachers, attended the event to congratulate him. “I feel like one of the luckiest people around because not many people get to have their adult children so involved in their work life and home life,” said the honoree’s mother, Dr. Karen Adamson.

Adamson said he plans to go back to school, but not before rounding out the school year. “Well, we’ve got class,” he said.

Adamson used to be a medical school student until he realized that wasn’t his passion. He then switched careers to teaching.

Included in the award is a trip to Washington, D.C. to meet with the other winners and discuss ways to improve education in the United States.

This is the only Milken Educator Award granted in Florida this school season.

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