August 8, 2014 at 6:50 AM
WEST CALDWELL, NJ – On July 31, The Christie Administration announced the selection of New Jersey’s 21 County Teachers of the Year and the State Facility Teacher of the Year for the 2014-2015 school year, with West Caldwell’s own Salvatore Lima as the chosen Essex County Teacher of the Year.
“It’s my pleasure to congratulate all of our County Teachers of the Year and State Facility Teacher of the Year for 2014-15,” said Acting Education Commissioner David Hespe. “These are model teachers who represent diverse content areas and grade levels. This award is a tribute to their talent, dedication, professionalism, and success with our students. Each year they serve as part of a valuable corps of teacher-leaders who can inspire all of us.”
County Teachers of the Year are selected at the county level by panels of administrators, teachers, parents, and county education association representatives convened by the executive county superintendants of schools.
Salvatore Lima has been teaching for nine years, six of those being in his current position as a Science teacher for grades 9-11 at the Essex County Vocational School in West Caldwell. But his involvement doesn’t stop in the classroom. He was also president of the school leadership team and is, currently, the boy's varsity volleyball coach.
“I feel honored and privileged to have received this award,” said Lima. “ To me, it signifies that I am doing my job well and that my efforts to improve the way students learn are successful. When I was informed by the executive county superintendent, Mr. Joseph Zarra, I was definitely excited about the award, but I didn't realize the scope of the accomplishment until I met with the NJDOE and the other county teachers of the year.”
Lima said that he changes the format of his class each year, “constantly improving it based on data collected from previous years.” He utilizes several teaching strategies “tweaked” to work together such as a flipped classroom, problem and inquiry based learning, learning centers and expanding his classroom by using Skype as a tool for students to interact with international students to make scientific comparisons of quality of life and air quality.
“I hate to remain stagnant and being complacent with anything I do, especially while I am teaching,” said Lima. “ Actually, I always feel I am not doing enough, which drives me to do more.”