Christine Girtain, a science teacher and the director of the Authentic Science Research program at Toms River High School South and High School North in New Jersey, has been named the 2023 New Jersey State Teacher of the Year.
Girtain, who has been teaching for 20 years, was humbled by the recognition, stating, ” I am excited to represent Toms River and Ocean County as the 2022-2023 New Jersey State Teacher of the Year,” Girtain said. “New Jersey is ranked highly nationally because of the great school districts we have across the state, and all the people who help make education function.”
Christine Girtain is known for her innovative approach to teaching science, which emphasizes hands-on learning and encourages students to explore scientific concepts through experimentation and inquiry. Her Authentic Science Research program, which she started in 2006, provides students with the opportunity to conduct original scientific research and present their findings at regional and national science competitions.
Governor Phil Murphy commended Girtain for her outstanding contributions to education and her dedication to her students, saying, ” Christine embodies the spirit of innovation that we are seeing in our schools and throughout our state. Her hard work and dedication to her students will help prepare our next generation of leaders.”
Acting Commissioner of Education, Angelica Allen-McMillan, echoed Governor Murphy’s sentiments, praising Girtain for her tireless efforts to provide high-quality science education to her students. ” The Teacher of the Year serves as an exemplar of the kinds of dynamic instruction that is occurring in classrooms throughout New Jersey, and Christine truly sets the standard for innovation. The way she ignites an interest in the sciences will benefit her students long after high school. Her students are fortunate to have her as a teacher,” said Allen-McMillan.
The passionate science teacher’s commitment to her students and her passion for science have earned her widespread recognition in the education community. She was named a finalist for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching in 2018 and was the recipient of the NJ STEM Pathways 2019 STEM Teacher of the Year.
“I love networking different interest groups together, using their individual strengths to combine for a more robust, broader reach,” she said. “Sustainable growth, both mental and physical, means that as we grow, we meet our needs without compromising the needs of future generations.”
As the 2023 New Jersey State Teacher of the Year, Christine Girtain will serve as an ambassador for teachers throughout the state, promoting excellence in education and advocating for policies that support teachers and students.
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