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Cynthia Apalinski
Washington Fellow
Linden, NJ

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Bio/Overview: Cindy Apalinski is currently a third grade teacher in the Linden Public School District. After completing her undergraduate studies, Apalinski enrolled in and graduated from law school, but soon discovered that her passion was education. She was inspired to gain her teaching certification and serve the community schools that she attended throughout her K-12 public school education. She feels privileged to have had the opportunity to support the education of School No. 6’s third-graders for the past fourteen years.

Educational Values/Philosophy: Apalinski’s path to teaching began as an opportunity to serve her community, but she quickly became passionate about improving the teaching and learning of science and mathematics for young children. She believes that all studentshave the ability to learn at high levels of achievement. She holds high expectations for all students and strives to provide rigorous, developmentally appropriate and differentiated instruction to meet their varied needs. She is also committed to improving the quality of professional development that educators have access to. She emphasizes the importance of ongoing, sustained PD that is anchored in research and job-relevant; addresses both pedagogy and content; pays close attention to students' needs, strengths, and experiences; and values and demonstrates respect for educators' time, expertise, and experience.

Achievements: Apalinski was chosen in New Jersey’s Union County Teacher Recognition Progam as the School No. 6 Teacher of the Year. Her commitment to professional development and mentoring was recognized when she received the Merck Institute for Science Education’s (MISE) “Teacher and Mentor Award” and was selected to attend the 2010 “Change the Equation” event at the White House.

Leadership Experience: Apalinski’s leadership roles have evolved in the past fourteen years, but remain focused on two areas, improving student learning and supporting colleagues and their needs. She is currently in her tenth year as the local education association’s president and represents the labor issues and concerns of eight hundred certificated staff and education support professionals. Lifelong learning is a goal she holds for her students and herself. Her work with the Merck Institute for Science Education (MISE) began eleven years ago as a Peer Teacher Workshop Facilitator with the goal of increasing individual teacher’s content knowledge and building personal capacity to deliver high quality science instruction to all students. In 2008, she was selected to be a Faculty Member of the Academy for Leadership in Science Instruction and continues currently as a Team Facilitator. The Academy is a three-year professional development experience for teams of teachers and principals from seven school districts partnering with MISE. She has also served as a school-based team member for School No. 6, working to build a community of learners within her school and as a member of Linden’s Elementary Science Assessment Committee.

Affiliations: Linden Education Association, Union County Education Association, New Jersey Education Association, and the National Education Association. She is a member of the Partnership for Systemic Change and the Academy for Leadership in Science Instruction to continue her professional development as an educator.

Education: Apalinski earned her Bachelor’s degree, Cum Laude, from Seton Hall University in New Jersey with a major in Political Science. She then continued her education at Seton Hall University School of Law and earned her Juris Doctorate degree. After successfully passing the New Jersey Bar Exam, she turned her focus to education and began her studies in early childhood education at Kean University, where she received her post-baccalaureate certification.

Areas of Interest/Expertise:

  • Labor and Management Issues
  • STEM
  • Early Childhood/Elementary Education
  • Professional Development

Last Modified: 08/03/2012