- Associated Press - Friday, February 13, 2015

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) - A Springfield teacher has been named one of ten finalists for a $1 million international prize.

The Varkey Foundation announced Friday that Naomi Volain, a teacher at Springfield Central High School, is a finalist for its new Global Teacher Prize.

The winner will be announced March 15 in Dubai.

Volain began her career as a dietitian, but a desire to work with teenagers prompted a move into teaching. She now teaches advanced placement environmental science, botany, ecology and biology. Her hands-on highly interactive classes focus on environmental literacy and outdoor education.

The prize was set up to shine a spotlight on the important role of teachers in society.

More than 5,000 teachers from 127 countries were originally nominated.

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