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Friday, August 02, 2013

Top Ten Educators of the Year: Melissa Tobin

Melissa Tobin                                      
Biotechnology, Chemistry and Biology Science Teacher     
Methuen Public Schools                                 
Methuen, MA

NSHSS is pleased to have announced its Top Ten Educators of the Year in December 2012 and is highlighting these educators throughout this year. The 2012 Claes Nobel Educators of the Year awards were presented to ten exemplary educators who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to preparing students for success in college and in life. These educators are among NSHSS’s student-nominated Claes Nobel Educators of Distinction program that recognizes educators who model best practices in teaching, are a positive influence for students and peers, and who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and excellence in education. Since the inception of the Educators of Distinction program in 2004, NSHSS has recognized more than 35,000 educators worldwide. 

Melissa Tobin teaches the sciences at all levels, from special education to honors, and received a BS in Microbiology with a concentration in Secondary Biology Education from the University of New Hampshire. She also received a Master’s degree in the Art of Teaching from Tufts University.

Mrs. Tobin believes that the classroom should have a welcoming environment. The classroom “should stimulate creative and unique thought and provide students with an arena to freely express their beliefs without fear of criticism or failure. By providing students with a nurturing environment in which they can grow physically, mentally, and emotionally I hope to create a classroom of passionate lifelong learners.”

To help create this stimulating learning environment, she employs technology such as Internet textbooks, websites, and SMART technology. Through these and other methods, she keeps her students up to date with the newest techniques in the bio sciences.  

Mrs. Tobin is the founder of the philanthropic club Students Helping Others which works to provide support to the local community. She is also the faculty advisor and coach to her school’s Women of Science team, an academic team which competes at the Women of Science in subjects such as engineering, math, biology, and environmental science.

She was chosen in 2008 by the JROTC senior class as an educator who has transformed lives at Methuen High School. The NSHSS student who nominated her to become a Claes Nobel Educator of Distinction said, “Mrs. Tobin has a way of uplifting all of her students, from the lower-level classes through her Honors classes. She also gives freely of her time to notify students of scholarship opportunities, and to coach academic teams.”