BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Pratima Patil, a science instructor at Somerset County Vocational & Technical High School, has been selected as the 2015-2016 Educator of the Year. 

Patil is known for being a giving, dedicated and selfless instructor, who always puts the students first.

When Superintendent Chrys Harttraft and Principal Diane Ziegler walked into Patil’s classroom to announce the award, Patil was “very surprised.” 

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“I was thrilled,” said Patil. “The kids were also very excited.” 

After sharing the announcement with some of her family and parents in India, Patil has been receiving countless calls congratulating her on the honor.

Patil graduated with her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in zoology from the University of Bombay (currently the University of Mumbai).  Since her graduation, Patil has served as a professor at the University of Bombay and now as a science instructor at Somerset County Vocational & Technical High School for the past 10 years. 

Patil also serves as an adjunct professor for Raritan Valley Community College, teaching SCVTHS students college level science courses.  

When asked what inspired her to become an educator, Mrs. Patil stated, “I have a long history of educators in my family.  My grandfather was a renowned zoologist in India and my uncle is a professor at Boston University."

Beyond the classroom, Mrs. Patil is involved as a SkillsUSA advisor and the advisor for the Science League at SCVTHS.  Patil has also served as the school’s advisor of the Bio Olympiad and NJ Envirothon.  

“I am thrilled to work with the students and encourage them in every way that I can," she said. "I love to challenge the students and it is wonderful to see where they go with the challenges I put on them.”

Patil is a resident of Edison, where she resides with her husband Shripad and their two sons.  In her spare time, Patil enjoys gardening, painting and bird watching.

“I am very thankful for receiving the award," she said. "It has supercharged me, and pushes me to do more."

For more information contact James Strickhart at 908-526-8900, ext. 7169 or jstrickhart@scvts.net.