Medha Kirtane

Our Teachers

A long over due collection of tribute pages to the individuals who accepted the challenge of educating us.

Ms. Medha Kirtane

2022 Ashby Award Recipient

Medha Kirtane New Jersey's Top History Teacher 2021Medha Kirtane

New Jersey’s Top History Teacher 2021

Medha Kirtan, RHS 1996

RIDGEWOOD, NJ — The state’s best history teacher hails from Ridgewood High School. Medha Kirtane was named the 2021 New Jersey History Teacher of the Year after a record 8,510 educators were nominated for the award.

Presented annually by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, the award “highlights the crucial importance of history education by honoring exceptional American history teachers from elementary school through high school.”

Kirtane has been working at Ridgewood High School for the last 15 years. An alumna of Ridgewood Public Schools herself, Kirtane earned her undergraduate degree from Williams College, where she later served as the assistant director of the Multicultural Center, and then earned her graduate degree from Harvard University Graduate School of Education.

As a member of the Ridgewood High School Social Studies Department, she has taught a variety of courses including U.S. history, senior seminar and law. She was the head coach of the girls tennis program, is the advisor to the Asian Festival, and serves as one of the faculty representatives to the Home and School Association.

“It is an honor to be part of the Gilder Lehrman family of educators seeking to better ourselves and our craft in order to provide students with the opportunity to grow as historians and citizens of this world,” said Kirtane.

“The organization provides so many resources for practical and scholarly growth, and I have been humbled to even be considered for such an award. I love learning alongside my students and from both them and my colleagues, so this award is a testament to the Social Studies department and my students as well. Ridgewood has always allowed me to be a student of history and pedagogy, and for that, I am extremely grateful.”

The award comes with a $1,000 honorarium, but will also benefit the high school. Ridgewood will now receive a “core archive of American history books and Gilder Lehrman educational materials.”

Teachers are selected for the award after nominations come in from parents, students, administrators and teachers. After winning the state award, Kirtane is now in the running for the National History Teacher of the Year award.

The 10 finalists for the national award will be announced on Sept. 9, and the winner will be announced in late September. Courtesy of Ridgewood-Glen Rock Patch