Sulikowski doing the math

Math teacher Lisa Sulikowski demonstrates a problem.Photo: Tori Patton

Lisa Sulikowski, a new math teacher at ARHS, pursued her career because of her belief that teaching means changing the entire idea of math.

“It’s what I’m meant to do. I just feel really comfortable in this position, helping kids. I like changing kids’ perception of math and changing their perception that they’re not good at it,” she said.

Ms. Sulikowski originally graduated from Belchertown High School and went on to UMass Amherst.

After UMass, she finished up her education at University of Arizona and American International College.

Ms. Sulikowski came to ARHS this year after teaching at Chicopee Comprehensive High School (CCHS).

While there, she noticed that many of her students had more responsibilities at home that made it harder for them to completely focus on school.

“Many students [had to] provide for their families, take care of their siblings,” she said.

She believes that education is a top priority at ARHS and it always should be.

“Amherst puts a great deal of emphasis on education. The curriculum that is here really emphasizes the idea of teaching the whole subject [of math], not just what’s needed for a test, and I love that about Amherst,” she said.

One of her main goals is to learn as much as she can from teaching in such a different environment.

“I came here because I wanted to grow as a teacher, learn a new way of teaching, and watch the students learn with this new way of teaching,” she said.

Ms. Sulikowski’s classes currently consist of ninth graders and seniors. She teaches IMP classes and Intro to Statistics I. At CCHS she taught AP Statistics, Algebra II, and Geometry for 12 years.

When asked to describe her students at ARHS, she smiled.

“They have a great sense of humor, they’re very dedicated to their schooling, and they just seem to love to be here,” she said.

So far, the self-described funny and compassionate teacher feels like she has a lot going on in her schedule.

In her free time, she enjoys cooking, spending time with her daughter, and participating in archery.