Dr. Laura MacGinitie, physics teacher at Goshen High School, was selected for the prestigious New York State Master Teacher Program (NYSMTP).
According to its website, NYSMTP celebrates the work of the highest-performing STEM teachers by establishing an expert community dedicated to developing expertise in the areas of content, pedagogy, and students’ families and communities.
Dr. Macginitie endured a lengthy application process that included a personal essay, letters of recommendation and an interview process where she presented on Bernoulli’s Principle – an increase in the speed of a fluid occurs simultaneously with a decrease in pressure or a decrease in the fluid’s potential energy – and how it applies in living systems, such as swimming fish or the ventilation of prairie dog holes.
NYSMTP is a four year program, and Master Teachers must attend 50 hours per year of professional development that includes meetings with colleagues, presentations, field trips and other high quality growth experiences – something that greatly excites Dr. MacGinitie.
“What really triggered me to apply was having the opportunity to expand my horizons while working together with other physics teachers in the region,” said Dr. MacGinitie.
Dr. MacGinitie earned a BS in physics as well as an MS and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She was an assistant professor at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington, for four years until the department of engineering was eliminated. Originally from Bergen County, New Jersey, she planned to find a position at another college after relocating back to the East Coast; however, she had an opportunity to teach physics part time at Beacon High School while her children were small which caused her to reassess her plans.
“I realized I loved teaching high school and began working to obtain my certification,” said MacGinitie. “I’ve been teaching at Goshen for 14 years and I just love my job. The key is to make physics real for students. It’s really stimulating.”
NYSMTP, launched by Governor Andrew Cuomo, is administered by The State University of New York and Math for America. For more information, visit New York State Master Teacher Program website.