Christine Girtain is a high school science teacher and the Director of Authentic Science Research at Toms River High School North and Toms River High School South in Toms River, New Jersey. Christine’s love of learning began early, as her family nourished curiosity and taught their children the value of education. Each year for Christmas, her parents would use their hard-earned money to buy their children an educational gift that would engage them intellectually in discovery and stimulating inquiry. With the gift of a telescope, Christine spent hours with her father looking to the skies and learning about astronomy from him. Another year’s Christmas gift of a chemistry set, and Christine was hooked, and she started on her educational journey with a passion for science. Christine would become the first person in her family to graduate from college. Interestingly, Christine attended and graduated from the Toms River Regional Schools system, which she has proudly called her professional home for 28 years. Christine saw a passion in her own teachers that inspired her to become a teacher.
Christine is a distinguished educator, having been recognized as the 2023 New Jersey State Teacher of the Year, 2021 Society for Science Advocate, the New Jersey STEM Pathways 2019 STEM Teacher of the Year, 2022-23 Ocean County Teacher of the Year, the National Association of Biology Teachers 2022 Genetics Educator of the Year, Teacher of the Year for her school (twice) and is currently a New Jersey state finalist for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics & Science Teaching.