Kali Lerner: RFH Educator of the Year

Rumson-Fair Haven (RFH) Regional High School’s Kali Lerner, Psychology teacher and advisor, has been named the high school’s Educator of the Year.

Lerner was recently bestowed the honor flanked by Principal Stephen Sarles, Assistant Principal of Athletics and Activities Chris Lanzalotto, Supervisor of Social Studies and English Suzanne Crowley and other school administrators. 

RFH’s Educator of the Year is selected annually by a small group of anonymous administrators, teachers, students, a Board of Education member, and parents who consider nominations from any members of the RFH school community.

Lerner’s impact on the school community surpasses her classroom walls, transcends academic years and profoundly influences the lives of those lucky enough to have her as a teacher, colleague, and/or mentor, school officials said, adding that she has distinguished herself as an exemplary educator both in and out of the classroom.
Lerner works tirelessly in constant collaboration with her colleagues and supervisor, Suzanne Crowley, to elevate the quality of Psychology instruction for all students
with extremely varied abilities and interests.

RFH school officials

Lerner is a Rutgers College graduate with honors and degrees in both English and Psychology. She was first in her class. She is in her 18th year of teaching at RFH.

Lerner currently teaches AP Psychology and a Positive Psychology elective course. A few years ago, she created the Positive Psychology course, modeled after Yale University’s free online course, to specifically instruct students on cultivating their perspective, happiness and mental health. 

The popularity of this course, the relationships that she cultivates with her students, and the high scores that her students earn on the AP Psychology exam — consistently above the state and national averages — are testaments to Lerner’s excellence in teaching that attributed to her garnering the Educator of the Year honor. Year after year, her students, some who nominated her for the honor this year, said that they had no interest in Psychology until they took her class and now intend to major in it in college. 

School officials said Lerner’s contagious enthusiasm within the classroom captivates both students and faculty members. She sparks curiosity and zeal, inevitably fostering active engagement, teamwork and student growth. Her unwavering dedication to her students radiates consistently throughout the entire academic year, they added.

Considered an “indispensable member of RFH’s extracurricular team,” she is the advisor to the Psychology Club and the Jewish Student Alliance. 

— Edited press release from RFH