The Presidential Award is an important opportunity to focus on what is positive and rewarding in teaching. We often hear about everything that is wrong with education, but it is just as important to recognize and place value on what we are doing well. By recognizing outstanding teachers, we highlight the best of what is happening in our schools and I am very proud to be a part of that.
Nicole Miller has been teaching in rural Nebraska for 17 years. She has been the Life Science teacher at Lakeview Jr-Sr High School since 2002. She currently teaches 10th grade Biology, Human Anatomy, and Physiology for 11th and 12th grade, and General Biology for 11th and 12th grade in cooperation with Central Community College.
Nicole is also the Science Club sponsor and coaches a Science Olympiad team. She has mentored students in independent science research projects and those students have gone on to compete in regional, state, and international science fairs. Nicole is a member of the National Science Teachers Association and its state affiliate. She enjoys the give-and-take of ideas by attending and presenting at conferences, and is always grateful that her students are willing and eager to try these new things and venture out of their comfort zone.
Nicole’s students rarely ask, “When will I ever use this?” She strongly believes that science is for everyone. Her students go outside and experience ecology in-person, explore current events and connect them to local issues, and find meaning in what they are learning through self-guided projects.
Nicole earned a B.S. in secondary education and a M.S. in biology from the University of Nebraska. She is certified to teach grades 7–12 natural science.