The Presidential Award, a source of great pride, will hang in a prominent spot in my classroom to remind me and my students that striving for excellence pays off. I could not have achieved this without molding from other teachers, the community, and most importantly, the students. The award will remind me that now that I have achieved a high level of success in the classroom, I owe it to the profession to mentor other teachers and inform policies that affect the quality of students’ education.

Keith Wright Springfield, MA | 7-12, Science, 2015

In the spring of 2016, Keith Wright celebrated the Springfield Renaissance School’s 7th consecutive year of college acceptance for all its graduating seniors. Renaissance is an Expeditionary Learning School in an urban district where students complete a rigorous academic and extracurricular program emphasizing real-world learning, individual responsibility, and preparation for higher education opportunities.  From 2006–2016 he has taught at the Springfield Renaissance School, where he has taught 11th grade Chemistry and middle school Science. Mr. Wright will begin a new position as a chemistry teacher at Hampshire Regional High School in the fall of 2016. He is a Noyce Master Teaching Fellow. Keith and other teachers provide opportunities for students to build on their interests and develop new knowledge through real-world fieldwork experiences. For example, students study nuclear technology by speaking to experts in nuclear science and studying the issue through various lenses before creating an art exhibit showcasing what students think nuclear technology does to, and for, the world. Keith earned a B.A. in political science, a M.Ed. in secondary science education, and a M.S. in natural resource conservation from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He is a certified high school chemistry teacher and middle school science teacher.