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SHS AP Biology Teacher Carisa Steinberg named Harvard Club of LI "Distinguished Teacher"

Carisa Steinberg of Syosset High School has been named a “Distinguished Teacher of 2022” by the Harvard Club of Long Island.

“This award honors middle and high school teachers who have profoundly influenced their students’ lives,” explained Dr. Judith Esterquest, Chair of the Distinguished Teacher Selection Committee. “Dedicated teachers like Ms. Steinberg inspire Long Island students to excel, to become passionate about learning, and to recognize the value of hard work. These teachers devote countless hours to creating better futures for our children.” 

Ms. Steinberg, who teaches AP Biology, has spent her entire teaching career of 22 years at Syosset High School. Her love of teaching comes from two sources; her own AP Biology teacher, Mr. Frank Turano, who went on to become a professor at Stony Brook, and her own realization that she could not keep her fascination with science to herself. Citing one particular moment during her college study abroad in Australia, when she experienced the beauty of the Great Barrier Reef and the Australian rainforest, Ms. Steinberg feels compelled to share the wonders of the natural world. 

Ms. Steinberg passes along her excitement for both teaching and for the natural sciences. As a New York State Master Teacher (now emeritus), she has contributed to a community of high-performing STEM teachers dedicated to providing knowledge and training to other teachers. In addition, Ms. Steinberg is the Mentor Coordinator for the Syosset School District. In this role, she guides all teachers who are new to the district through a rigorous mentoring program to ensure the success of the next generation of educators.

“Ms. Steinberg’s passion for and knowledge of biology and teaching is undeniable,” said Saba Mehrzad, a recent graduate of Syosset High School who is now a freshman at Harvard College, before adding, “She has an incredible skill of making difficult topics seem approachable, by using overarching themes and real-world experiences.”

Dr. Giovanni Durante, principal of Syosset High School, congratulated Ms. Steinberg saying, “We are blessed to have Carisa Steinberg on our faculty, as she continues to impact generations of students and their families.”

“Thanks to her intellect and the great things she does inside the classroom, she is a role model for countless students," continued Dr. Durante. "In addition, as the Coordinator of our Teacher Mentor Program, she ensures that new faculty members are given all the support they need to be successful.”

At a virtual ceremony on April 2, the Harvard Club of Long Island will announce the Distinguished Teacher of 2022 who will also receive a scholarship for a “Harvard experience” at the Harvard University campus in Cambridge, MA. Past winners of the scholarships have enhanced their teaching by sampling the resources available to Harvard students: meeting with faculty; visiting research laboratories, rare book archives, and specialty museums; and enjoying visual and performance art. The scholarships are funded by contributions from Harvard alumni living on Long Island.

This year’s Distinguished Teacher Award winners were nominated by current Harvard undergraduates and then selected by Harvard Club of Long Island board members. Ms. Steinberg is the eighth teacher from the Syosset School District to be recognized by the Harvard Club.