The Presidential Award is an amazing and huge honor for teachers who are passionate and energetic, bringing their love of mathematics and science to our young Americans. I’m thrilled and deeply moved that President Obama and past presidents recognize and celebrate science and mathematics education as foundations for our national strength and prosperity.

Naomi Volain Springfield, MA | 7-12, Science, 2011

Naomi Volain has taught grades 9-12 science at Springfield Central High School for the past 14 years. She teaches Advanced Placement (AP) Environmental Science, Botany, Pre-AP Biology lab, and Ecology. Environmental literacy and outdoor education guide Naomi’s classes. Naomi brings all her students outside to foster their curiosity while they conduct research. She also coaches the Envirothon Team, a natural resource state competition. Naomi is a member of the NASA Network of Educator Astronaut Teachers, the group that applied to become part of the Educator Astronaut Corps. She has presented NASA educational resources at regional and national teacher workshops, to the Springfield Stars Club, and at events at a children’s museum. She has displayed the NASA lunar/meteorite sample disks numerous times. Naomi worked as Lead Science Teacher for the Massachusetts Math and Science Initiative to increase enrollment and achievement in AP classes by urban students. She has also presented district and regional workshops on oceanography, food science, and AP Vertical Teaming strategies. Naomi has a B.S. in nutrition from the University of New Hampshire and an M.S. in biology from the University of Bridgeport. She is certified in secondary biology and is a registered dietitian.