DENVILLE, NJ-- This month's faculty spotlight goes to Dr. Richard Costa, science specialist at Lakeview Elementary School.

As you walk into Dr. Richard Costa's room at Lakeview School, the science feel hits you from the door. Costa is Lakeview's Science Specialist, who teaches kindergarten to fifth grade. Costa wasn't always a teacher however. Before teaching, Dr. Costa was a dentist, but had to give up his dental profession due to severe allergies

"I was told that I had to end my career because I was allergic to chemicals in some of the products we used in the office," Costa said.

Sign Up for E-News

After hearing the news that his 25 year career in Dentistry would have to end for medical reasons, Costa thought long and hard about his next career choice. He began substitute teaching in a few surrounding towns and fell in love with the classroom environment.

"I got my education degree from Seton Hall. I took a very intense summer program," Costa said.

Dr. Costa constantly gets asked about how long he's been teaching. Many parents assume that because he is older, he must have been in the education world for quite a few years. The truth is, Dr. Costa has only been teaching for nine years.

Dr. Costa's love for science shines outside the classroom as well. He enjoys hiking, kayaking, and just being outside in general. He takes his classes on nature walks when the weather is nice to add a more hands on approach to his lessons. 

Dr. Costa's love for science also includes the heavily popular Science Olympiad team at Lakeview. Participants come out in huge numbers to try out for a place on the team. Dr. Costa picks those who are creative and science booksmart and takes time after school to hold practices. In March, the team travels to South Jersey to participate in the Olympiad. Costa's team has brought home a plethora of medals in all the different science events.

"To me, I know at the end of class I'm going to get hugs and I'm going to laugh. That's what teaching is about, making things fun for not only the students but for the teacher as well,"