Lisa Gogolinski was nominated by her colleague, Laura Capistran.
Mrs. Gogolinski is in her 11th year at Northbridge Public Schools as the technology teacher, and her 17th year of teaching. Over the years, she has attended several rich learning opportunities, including monthly STEM club meetings at WPI (Worcester Polytechnic Institute). She organized a middle school code day, where representatives from Dell served as guest teachers. She also received a STEM grant from Hess Trucks.
Mrs. Gogolinski has added Sphero robots to her classroom and attended a week-long coding workshop in Boston last summer. She runs a popular computer club after school where kids design and test robots. This year, she'll be introducing the Girls Who Code program at the middle school. She was also involved in the school building vision group, which met last summer to determine the community goals for re-building the Balmer school (local elementary school).
For all that she has accomplished on her own, it pales in comparison to her work with colleagues to enhance the experiences of NMS students. She and a colleague, Betsy Wermuth, attend events and trainings held by the Blackstone Valley Education Foundation, from robotic demonstrations to industry tours. They can both be found at every event, to the point where BVEF referred to them as "groupies," for their unwavering support. At WPI, the STEM Center staff recognize them by name at events such as AweSTEM and Dig it, Fab it, Make It. Their interest in getting real-world experiences for their students is always at the forefront of their teaching. Together, with NMS health teacher Moira Larson, they introduced and focused on adopting growth mindset language in their classrooms.
Over the past few years, they have coordinated student trips to Dell, Waters and Saint Grobain in celebration of manufacturing day. They have also brought students to WPI for an engineering experience, taken students to the Tufts STEM conference, and attended the BVEF Business and Education forum to talk and learn about how Northbridge students can be better prepared for the future. Together, they fill the middle school display cases and boards with STEM-related projects to showcase their students, and have applied for a BVEF education grant for a Maker Space at the middle school. This summer, Mrs. Gogolinski worked on the strategic plan for the district and participated in the What School Could Be book club.
"Mrs. Gogolinski goes so far above and beyond what's expected for her. She's outstanding at what she does and creates a fun, upbeat environment for the students," said Capistran. "After the staff held parent-teacher conferences, Lisa went in early the next day to bring in coffee and refreshments for her colleagues. This shows how much she cares about students and staff alike. Her energy is contagious, and I'm proud to have her as a colleague."