Position: Seventh Grade Science Teacher
School: Jordan Road School
School District: Somers Point Schools
City, State: Somers Point, New Jersey
About the Nominee: Liz Lichtenstein has been a seventh grade science teacher in the Somers Point School District for the past 14 years. She has a wonderful rapport with everyone, but especially with students. Her ability to connect with students and her talent at teaching both simple and complex concepts is truly a gift. Albert Einstein once wrote, “Most of the fundamental ideas of science are essentially simple, and may, as a rule, be expressed in a language comprehensible to everyone.” This quote truly defines Mrs. Lichtenstein’s teaching style. Her ability to take complex ideas and make them understandable to adolescents is a rare gift.
Mrs. Lichtenstein has extended science well outside the classroom walls. For example, as the advisor to the 7th and 8th grade Science Club, she has pursued a vision where the school courtyard is transformed into a vegetable garden. Together with her Science Club members, she has worked in the courtyard after school and on weekends to create a school-wide environment. This garden is used to educate the student body about healthy living and environmental responsibility (rain garden and eco-friendly gardening practices). It also provides an outdoor area to enrich the students' learning experiences.
A few years ago, the Science Club students hosted an evening called “Kids R Cookin“ in which they prepared a dinner at a local Somers Point eatery. In an effort to encourage healthy living by eating locally grown fruits and vegetables, Mrs. Lichtenstein and the family consumer science teacher combined talents and taught the students how to make a connection between school and business in the Somers Point Community. The Autumn Harvest dinner was cooked, prepared and served by 7th and 8th grade science club members. Over 140 dinners were served!
Mrs. Lichtenstein has had a positive influence on her students. She is teaching them to be respectful of the environment and how to preserve it for future generations. She is a LifeChanger in every sense of the word.