Being awarded the Presidential Award is a dream come true. It is truly a humbling experience to be considered part of the teaching community, believing in the importance of wonder and discovery that accompanies science. I believe that all children are scientists, and demonstrating their abilities through the Presidential Award process serves as validation. This is my Heisman Trophy, and I could not be more honored and excited to have been chosen.

Vicki Willett Blacklick, OH | K-6, Science, 2016

Vicki Willett has taught all subjects of first grade for 16 years at Licking Heights West Elementary School. She is currently training through NASA’s Global Learning and Observation to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) program, acquiring new protocols and enhancing student engagement and learning. She is participating in a two-year professional development program combining scientific inquiry and nonfiction text sets. Vicki is passionate about children doing science. She strives to instill a sense of wonder through inquiry based learning. Vicki believes students become lifelong learners in science through early, exciting opportunities. Vicki has presented on a variety of topics at national and state-level conferences, for instance; implementing inquiry and literature; what is inquiry; using guided math; and Google lit trips. She is the professional development chair for the Science Educators Council of Ohio and a member of the Ohio Advisory Committee for Science Standards Revision. Vicki earned a B.A. in childhood education from Florida State University and a master's degree in teacher leadership from National University. She completed her Teacher Leader Endorsement through The Ohio State University. Vicki is a National Board Certified Teacher and was awarded the Dow STEM Educator of the Year. Vicki is certified to teach kindergarten through eighth grade.