NJSTA President's Message
President, NJSTA 2020-2021
Greetings from the President of NJSTA,
It is a great honor and privilege to be serving as the President of the New Jersey Science Teachers Association. Before sharing a little about myself and the exciting work being done by NJSTA, I want to take this opportunity to thank Past-President, Cheryl Zanone for her commitment, dedication and service to NJSTA. In her tenure as president, Ms. Zanone has spearheaded many initiatives, some of which have included the transitioning of NJSTA to a new web platform for smoother and more efficient operation, the creation of an option for joint membership with NSTA, and the development of various professional learning opportunities not only for our members but for all science teachers of NJ. Most notably was the creation of #NJSTAchats at a time when teachers everywhere had to reinvent their art and craft overnight as a result of the Covid -19 Pandemic. #NJSTAchats included presentations on technology tools and strategies to enhance virtual instruction and a chat with guest speaker and author of Teaching Science in Diverse Classroom, Doug Larkin on the importance of designing instruction to leverage students’ culture and existing knowledge for learning. As Ms. Zanone transitions into the next chapter of her life, we acknowledge and celebrate the many contributions and successes she has achieved as a science educator. Although a teacher never truly knows to what extent they influence others, Ms. Zanone’s work ethic and commitment to high quality and equitable science instruction has inspired countless number of students and teachers throughout the state of NJ as a teacher, colleague, mentor, and President of NJSTA.
While I have always loved science, I never intended to become a science teacher until about a month prior to graduating from Seton Hall University with a chemistry degree which would make me the first college graduate in my family. Reflecting on all those that influenced me and supported me in the process, besides my family, I remembered Ms. Clark, Ms. Sileo, Mr. Luyster, Mr. LeRoy, and so many more teachers that inspired me and believed in me so I enrolled at in a Master’s Teaching program at Seton Hall and started teaching science in a private school in Paterson, NJ. As a naive and inexperienced science teacher, I thought I would inspire and teach students about science, but I would learn so much more from them. Since then, I have taught in a large urban public school district with paint chipping and falling off the walls, in an affluent school with the most beautiful picturesque landscape views from my classroom, and I’m currently working as a science supervisor in a different suburban district. Despite the different school settings, the common thread has been and continues to be the passion and dedication of science teachers to inspire their students and the students’ natural curiosity and wonder and their resilience to persevere even when presented with adversary conditions.NJSTA is hard at work to continue promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all. We are currently working on restarting #NJSTAchats in March to honor NJ STEM month, on building a collaborative relationship with the NJ Council for Social Studies (NJCSS) to develop interdisciplinary lessons on climate change, and developing professional development to support DEI (Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion) in science education. If you would like to increase your professional collaborative opportunities, we invite you to consider becoming a member of or increasing your activity with NJSTA.
President, NJSTA 2020-2021