Alumni Spotlight: Daniel Herzberg ’86

1.  Tell us about your life today.

_MG_5678As an Accelerated Learning Specialist I consult with families to help teens prepare in high school to get into college and thrive when they get there.  I recently created the Accelerated SAT Mastery Online Program with Live Expert Coaching (  It took six years to create but it’s comprehensive and I’m enjoying helping a lot more teens than I could when I only worked only directly with them one-on-one.  I still coach teens around the US and internationally on the SAT, ACT, test anxiety, writing personal statements for college admissions, time management, and study skills. So far I have worked with over 7000 families over the past 23 years.

2.  Outside of work, what are you passionate about?

I love spending time with friends, hiking with my dog, biking, singing, playing music, and learning foreign languages.  I enjoy traveling, and have traveled and lived all over the continental US, Alaska, Mexico, Western Europe, and Thailand. This next year I want to visit Bali and the Philippines.

I enjoy writing, especially on topics that help others.  I am finishing writing a book titled Transformational Travel: How to Transform your Life Path Through Conscious Vacations.  My Vision Quest experience was a big part of my own personal journey.  I like helping people achieve accelerated change in their lives through travel.  I am also wrapping up writing a book giving mentorship & advice to young adults as they transition out of college.  My working title for that is Get Ready for the Real World Slap.  I like helping young adults get into college AND successfully transition out.

3.  Looking back on the classes that you took at MA, which one had the greatest impact on you and why?

They all did in some way, and that awareness has only grown stronger and unfolded more over the years.  I teach all the junior high and high school subjects to the teens I work with, which I couldn’t do if I hadn’t had a solid foundation at MA.  I especially liked literature and the way it tied in with outdoor experiences.  Beau Leonhart was an amazing and inspiring calculus teacher and Vision Quest leader.  John Hicks was a great physics teacher.  I feel today so inspired by all the teachers I had at MA.  I realize every year how lucky I was to attend MA.  It really was a privilege.

4.  What is one of your best MA memories?

My Vision Quest experience altered the course of my life, and opened me up to a much more self-aware way of being in the world.  I think often about how we are so inundated with media and American consumerism, which I felt acutely during and after my Vision Quest.  It helped me to learn to look more closely for what really matters.  The best things in life are not things.

5.  If you were to re-enroll at Marin Academy, what would you do differently the second time around?

Remember to look for the good in every experience at MA.  Not much was gained by being cynical or complaining.  Probably fewer parties.  I would have been involved in more clubs and done as many outdoor activities as possible.  I probably would have tried to fit in less and try to find my own unique voice.  I would have sung more.  Life is too short not to sing every day.

Interested in being in the Alumni Spotlight?  Send a message to Beth Sherman ’96, Director of Alumni Relations!

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