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Kathryn Forsyth, Director
For Release: June 13, 2005
Morris County Educator Named 2005 New Jersey History Teacher of the Year
Commissioner of Education William L. Librera today announced that Roseanne Lichatin, lead teacher of the History and Social Sciences Department of the West Morris Regional High School District in Chester, Morris County, has been named the New Jersey winner of the second annual Preserve America Teacher of the Year Award. The national recognition program is co-sponsored by Preserve America and the Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History.
In addition, Commissioner Librera announced the names of the New Jersey history teachers that were nominated for the award.
“All of these teachers nominated have demonstrated outstanding work in the classroom in teaching United States History, to their students,” said Dr. Librera. “They deserve our recognition and support for their continued fine work. Whenever teachers excel, the real and ultimate winners are the children whose lives they touch.”
Commissioner Librera praised Lichatin, noting her credentials and impressive career accomplishments. “Roseanne Lichatin has dedicated her career to her students and to her chosen content area of history,” he said. “In her 30-year career, she continues to bring fresh inspiration and challenges to her students in the classroom, while continuing to grow personally and professionally in a variety of ways.”
“History teachers have the great challenge of keeping the story of our past alive and intriguing to a young audience, and I am proud to be part of that endeavor,” said Lichatin, who has taught at West Morris Regional High School for the past 18 years. “These students will be tomorrow’s teachers and they need to be well schooled in the skills and tools needed to be historians and active participants in our society.”
“I really enjoy sharing my enthusiasm with students,” she continued. “I want them to appreciate the stories of history, whether they discover them on their own or through my classroom presentations.”
After earning a degree in history from Kean University, Lichatin spent the first 10 years of her career teaching middle and junior high school students in Summit, West Orange and Basking Ridge. From there, she taught United States history and sociology at Madison High School. In 1987, she joined West Morris Central High School. At West Morris, she teaches pre-advanced placement and international baccalaureate United States history I and II, and world history. She also serves as a mentor teacher, a position in which she is responsible for working with first-year teachers in the school.
Lichatin holds a master’s degree in history from East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania and is a member of Phi Alpha Theta: History Honor Society. She is currently participating in a Teaching American History grant project called Faces of Freedom: Teaching American History Through Personal Narrative. Her professional development activities have included seminars and projects with leading historians from the Smithsonian American History Museum, Columbia University and Brown University.
History teachers nominated for the award include elementary teachers who do outstanding work in U.S. history and secondary teachers who teach U.S. history as their primary subject. The nominees should have demonstrated excellence, creativity and imagination in the classroom. In addition, they should have effectively used primary sources in history and have demonstrated effectiveness in improving student knowledge and enthusiasm for history.
As New Jersey History Teacher of the Year, Lichatin will receive a $1,000 honorarium, a certificate of recognition, and a core archive of history books and materials donated to the winner’s school library. This summer, a national Preserve America History Teacher of the Year will be selected from among the state honorees. The national winner will go to a recognition ceremony in the early fall to mark the beginning of the 2005-06 school year.
Preserve America is a White House initiative that encourages greater shared knowledge about the nation’s past and increased local participation in preserving the country’s cultural and natural heritage. The Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History, in New York City, promotes the study and love of American history.
Attached is a list of this year’s New Jersey nominees.