Arcadia teacher is true inspiration

ARCADIA - - Twenty-nine teachers were recently awarded the MIT Inspirational Teacher Award for inspiring excellence in current MIT students. The teachers represented 14 of the United States, and two teachers from outside the US were recognized, representing Ecuador and Hungary. Marie Nielsen, the science teacher at Arcadia High School, was awarded the 2013 MIT Inspirational Teacher Award for inspiring excellence in a current MIT student and Arcadia High School alumnus. Hollie O’Brien, an MIT sophomore majoring in Planetary Science, nominated Nielsen and said Nielsen “ignited her interest in science.” “She would always have a unique way of teaching the lesson,” said O’Brien. “She provided multiple ways of learning on a tight budget, and I would not have been accepted to MIT if it hadn’t been for all of the valuable lessons that I learned from her in and out of the classroom. “Mrs. Nielsen, you’ve impacted my life every way imaginable. I’m not sure if it will ever be possible to put into words how grateful I am that I had you for a teacher. I KNOW that all of my successes at MIT are due to you and I want to thank you! I’ve seen how hard you work and how much time you dedicate to your students outside of school: you truly deserve this award! I wouldn’t be following my dreams if you hadn’t been there first to ignite the fire of learning. On behalf of every student whose life you have touched, Thank you!” With high school teachers facing ever tighter budgets, new standards, and other ongoing education challenges, it is hoped that the MIT Inspirational Teacher Award provides much-needed recognition to teachers who inspire excellence in their students. This award provides a vehicle for MIT students to recognize high school teachers who inspired them. Many teachers recognized will be or have been honored at their school or at local events hosted by MIT Alumni. The MIT Inspirational Teacher award is one of the MIT Alumni Association’s K-12 STEM Education Outreach initiatives. Many MIT alumni are engaged in enhancing K-12 STEM education in their local communities.ABOUT THE MIT INSPIRATIONAL TEACHER AWARD Most of us have had a high school teacher, counselor, or coach who stands out in our hearts and memories as a significant influence in our lives. The lessons such outstanding educators teach often go far beyond the subject matter of their fields. They may instill values and a love of learning that shape our educational and career choices, and guide us throughout our adult lives. MIT wishes to recognize a few of the exceptional high school educators who have influenced the lives of our students. Selections are made on the basis of information and insights presented in on-line nominations, submitted by current MIT students.