NJDOE News

For More Information Contact the Public Information Office:
    Richard Vespucci
    Kathryn Forsyth, Director
    609-292-1126

For Release : October 14, 2005


Educator from West Morris Regional High School is National History Teacher of the Year

            Roseanne Lichatin, a history teacher from the West Morris Regional High School District in Chester, Morris County, is the national winner of the second annual Preserve America Teacher of the Year Award.  The national program is co-sponsored by Preserve America and the Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History, which made the announcement in New York City earlier today.

            “I’m thrilled that one of New Jersey’s many outstanding teachers has been chosen for this prestigious award.  She has brought great honor to her state, her community, her school and her family,” said Acting Commissioner of Education Lucille E. Davy.
 
            At today’s recognition ceremony, Lichatin received her award certificate and a check for $1,000 from First Lady Laura Bush, chair of the Preserve America Committee.

            “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.  “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.”

            Roseanne Lichatin, a resident of Long Valley, is a 30-year career educator, and has worked for the last 18 years at West Morris Regional High School, where she currently serves as lead teacher of the History and Social Sciences Department.

            Earlier this year, she was selected as the New Jersey winner of the Preserve America Teacher of the Year Award.  For that honor, she received a $1,000 honorarium, a certificate of recognition, and a core archive of history books and materials donated to her school’s library.

            Lichatin earned a degree in history from Kean University, and 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.  Nominees must demonstrate excellence, creativity, and imagination in the classroom.  They also should effectively use primary sources in history and have demonstrated effectiveness in improving student knowledge and enthusiasm for history.

            The New Jersey judges who participated in the Preserve America 2005 competition were David Cohen, Ph.D., historian, New Jersey Historical Commission; Kevin Brady, Ph.D., director, American Institute for Historical Studies; Adam Scrupski, Ed.D. retired professor of education, Rutgers University; and Robert Shamy, supervisor of social studies, East Brunswick School District.

            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 promotes the study and love of American history.