Liz Lynch

Martinsville City Public Schools is proud to announce that Liz Lynch, a STEM teacher at Patrick Henry Elementary School, has been selected as one of just three Virginia finalists for the 2024 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.

The Presidential Teaching Awards are the nation’s highest honor for K-12 science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) teachers. Mrs. Lynch was chosen as a state finalist by a review committee convened by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) for her exemplary math and science instruction, deep content knowledge, and ability to motivate students.

“I am so excited and humbled by this experience,” Lynch said. “I have loved all of the opportunities that have been offered to me by MCPS to grow my skills and engage our students, from participating STEM-based competitions to providing equitable, resource-rich learning for all our students.”

“Throughout my career, I have never met a teacher who is more deserving of this recognition than Liz Lynch,” said PHES Principal Cameron Cooper. “No matter if it’s during the school day or as a part of our many afterschool programs like Robotics, Odyssey of the Mind, or Kid Wind, her passion for STEM-based learning is infectious for both the staff and students at Patrick Henry Elementary. She constantly goes above and beyond to help create a fun learning environment that, in turn, creates opportunities and experiences that will have a lasting impact on our students.”  

A 13-year veteran of MCPS, Lynch has worked as a 5th grade teacher at Albert Harris Elementary and Martinsville Prep Academy, 8th grade science at Martinsville Middle School, and is currently the STEM teacher at Patrick Henry Elementary.

Lynch is a two-time recipient of the Southwest Virginia Technology Consortium’s Technology Teacher Award and was selected by her colleagues at PHES as their school’s Teacher of the Year for the 2020-2021 school year.

Lynch also serves as a coach for Odyssey of the Mind, First Lego League Lego Robotics, KidWind, and the King’s Dominion Roller Coaster Engineering Challenge. Under her leadership, her Odyssey of the Mind team placed third in the world finals in 2020, and a second team is currently preparing to compete in this year’s global competition. Her Lego Robotics teams have won state championships, and one even advanced to Global Innovations, an honor reserved for the top 20 teams in the world.

Focused on developing problem-solving and critical thinking abilities, Mrs. Lynch emphasizes the importance of mathematics across all STEM disciplines. “Math is the foundation for all STEM learning,” she explained. “Understanding problems and being able to analyze data is vital for success in any future career. It allows students to be problem-solvers, critical thinkers, and ultimately gives them the tools to change the world. And I truly do believe that our students can change the world.”

Her lessons are engaging and accessible, incorporate coding, games, and multiple entry points for learners who grasp concepts at different paces.

“The flexibility of my instruction allows me to meet students wherever they are,” she explained. “With open-ended, play-based lessons, even students who struggle can explore math in fun, unintimidating ways.”

A native of Buffalo, NY, Lynch holds a B.S. in Human Development and Learning from Lynchburg College (now Lynchburg University) and a M.Ed. in Interdisciplinary STEM from The Citadel.

A national review committee will review all state finalists for the PAMEST Award and the winners will be announced by the White House later this year.

“I am thrilled to see Liz Lynch receive this recognition,” said MCPS Superintendent Dr. Zebedee Talley. “Mrs. Lynch has an unmatched work ethic and has the ability to relate to all students and encourage them to excel. Our district is blessed to have such a talented educator on our staff!”