by Scott Berger
It is my honor to nominate Dr. Martin Edelberg, Teacher of Biology and Research in Molecular Genetics at Pascack Hills High School in Montvale, New Jersey, for the New Jersey Hall of Fame Award. He is not only a phenomenal teacher, but a wonderful person as well. Dr. Edelberg has been my teacher for the past three years. He has made a major difference in my life and I’m sure will continue to impact the lives of future students.
Dr. Edelberg was a podiatrist before becoming a teacher fifteen years ago due to his love of learning. While in his freshmen Honors Biology class, I was having a hard time adjusting to high school, where two towns come together. I could not hear from my seat in the back of the classroom and was too shy to ask strangers to help me with the notes. I have a hearing impairment (CAPD = Central Auditory Processing Disorder) which effects my ability to clearly disseminate noise from different sources; i.e. the foreground vs. background. Dr. Edelberg reached out to me of his own volition to question my poor test marks. He inquired as to whether I was having similar problems in other classes. I was, so he asked the guidance counselor to speak with my teachers. They all agreed that the information assigned to read at home I understood vs the information given in class. Dr. Edelberg took his own time to help develop a plan that my future teachers would utilize to give me a front seat in all classes and ability to check notes as needed. These small classroom changes made a huge impact on my grades and my comfort as a student. For the past two years, I have participated in Dr. Edelberg’s Research in Molecular Genetics course which has been an enriching experience. This is an elective class where students conduct independent research preceding the North Jersey Regional Science Fair competition. Dr. Edelberg stays late most days, and comes in some Saturdays, to help his students achieve their goals. His vast knowledge of all things science and his patience with which he approaches his students is remarkable. He is always willing to listen, even about things other than biology. I have won several biology awards and had my research published due to the outstanding support and encouragement I receive from Dr. Edelberg. I truly believe that I may have given up on science as it is so detail oriented, had my experience continued to be a poor one. As Dr. Edelberg personally is deaf, he has encouraged me to self-advocate and know that I can do anything. I now aspire to enroll in a medical program and eventually conduct research. All of this is possible because my New Jersey public school teacher took the time to help me, and I am eternally grateful. Please consider Dr. Martin Edelberg for the New Jersey Hall of Fame Award as a tribute to the inspirational teacher he is.