Trenton, NJ – The New Jersey Department of Education today announced that Christine Girtain, a Science Teacher and the Director of Authentic Science Research at Toms River High School North and South, has been named the 2022-2023 New Jersey State Teacher of the Year.
Christine, a graduate of Toms River Schools herself, has been teaching science for 28 years, including Earth Science, Biology, and Authentic Science Research. The Authentic Science Research program at the Toms River Regional School District is a three-year elective program that allows students to pursue and conduct independent research on a specific science topic that interests them. As the director, she has guided student projects ranging from the effects of fruit seed extracts on bacteria, to bioengineering E. coli. Her students have connected with Penn State researchers to learn about microbes that may block the spread of the Dengue and Zika viruses, and they have been to an immersive research program in the rainforests of Costa Rica.
“A cornerstone of my Administration has been fostering STEM learning for our students,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “We know that high-paying, high-demand STEM careers can help young people achieve success after graduating high school. Our students are the future leaders of our state and by preparing them with a strong educational foundation in science, we will help fuel the growth of New Jersey’s economy. 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. Congratulations to Christine Girtain for being named New Jersey State Teacher of the Year.”