Michael Nagler, Superintendent of the Mineola UFSD, is being lauded as one of the most devoted supporters of public education on Long Island.
Nagler is among 13 honorees to receive the 2019 Nassau BOCES Education Partner award, bestowed annually on those individuals and organizations whose impact on public education in Nassau County can be measured in tangible ways.
A strategic education partner with school districts since 1967, Nassau BOCES created the awards program to recognize those who share its mission of ensuring a successful, challenging, caring and safe environment that enables students of all ages and abilities to achieve their maximum potential. These outstanding individuals and organizations have made strides in accomplishing key educational goals embraced by Nassau BOCES, such as ensuring student success.
Nagler will be honored at the awards gala held in April by the Nassau BOCES Educational Foundation. The Foundation is an independent non-profit organization that raises funds for innovative educational programs that fall outside of the agency’s budget.
Over the course of his 10-year tenure as superintendent, Nagler’s innovative leadership has markedly improved instruction and learning throughout the Mineola UFSD, and helped the district to achieve national recognition for academic success. The American Association of School Administrators (also known as the School Superintendents Association) ranked Mineola among of the Top 25 Most Innovative School Districts in the Country. Leading-edge technology company Apple has recognized each of the district’s five schools as a Distinguished School.
Nagler’s out-of-the-box thinking has led the district’s innovative use of technology in the classroom. He implemented the 1:1 iPad initiative, giving every student access to the electronic tablets to supplement learning. He spearheaded the development of a number of technological advancements throughout the district, including digital student portfolios, interactive video lessons and state-of-the-art fabrication labs, complete with 3-D printers and plasma cutters.
Through the Kindergarten Badge Book initiative, Nagler helped to introduce a creative approach to learning at the earliest possible stage. He organized a committee of teachers and administrators to develop a grading framework for kindergarten students that better promotes learning. The result was the Badge Book, which replaces traditional grades with badges that recognize and celebrate students’ mastery of new skills and concepts across the standards-based curriculum. Each student earns badges based on individual strengths and skills. The Badge Book provides parents with detailed descriptions of each skill their child has mastered, the criteria used to earn the badge, and the resources and activities they can use to help their child practice at home.
Nagler represents the Mineola UFSD on the national stage as well, through organizations such as the Digital Promise League of Innovative Schools, which focuses on improving learning opportunities through technology and research. He has also shared his inventive leadership style through a TEDTalk for the internationally renowned Technology, Entertainment and Design Conference, which posts its “talks” online under the slogan “ideas worth spreading.” As President of the Nassau County School Superintendents Association, Dr. Nagler helps districts throughout the county to succeed.
“Dr. Michael Nagler is a visionary leader who believes in giving students choices in their learning,” wrote his award nominator. “He is a tech-savvy, creative thinker who always puts the students first when making decisions.”