Liz Turcik, Humanities & Spanish

Liz was born and raised in the small town of Ligonier, 60 miles southeast of Pittsburgh. She attended the Valley School of Ligonier, a small private independent school from kindergarten through ninth grade, and has always enjoyed playing sports such as field hockey, basketball, lacrosse, soccer, fencing, swimming, skiing and snowboarding. Liz grew up as an outdoorsy child, always running around barefoot, climbing trees, hiking mountains and swimming in her family’s pond. She has always enjoyed playing Rugby in the backyard with her three brothers, rooting for her Pittsburgh Steelers and Penguins, and watching witty British comedians during the holidays.

For high school, Liz moved on to a New England all-girls college preparatory boarding school, Miss Hall’s School, where she blossomed and found her true passion for history and the humanities in general. Miss Hall’s was where Liz found her inner female leadership, and she has been inspired to uphold and live by the school’s values of “inspiring and encouraging each (student) to pursue the highest standards of learning and character; to contribute boldly and creatively to the common good; and to seek a purposeful life based on honor, respect, growth, and personal authenticity.” This motto is reflected deeply in Liz’s teaching style now. While at Miss Hall’s, Liz worked for a Juvenile Court and studied law and the court system during the summers at John’s Hopkins University. Miss Hall’s has played an essential role in Liz’s life, and this is where she was inspired to become a history teacher herself.

Liz was recruited to play Division III Field Hockey and Lacrosse at Washington and Jefferson College, where she received three undergraduate degrees in History, Spanish, and Secondary Education, and was a Dean’s list honor student and member of the Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society. During her stint at her undergraduate college, Liz became an expert in experiential learning, having studied abroad in-between semesters and during the summers in Mexico, Italy, Spain, New Zealand, Senegal and The Gambia. She also enhanced her knowledge of political science and civic duties when she worked on Capitol Hill for a Congressional Member of the House of Representative while taking economics at Georgetown and Masters history courses at George Washington University. From her time at her undergraduate university, Liz learned the importance of time management, balance, discipline and dedication to her studies.

Having always had a deep love for athletics, Liz has professional coaching experience in Division II college lacrosse, and has worked for four summers as the Assistant Athletic Director and Lacrosse Director at an all girls summer camp. When she isn’t playing sports, Liz loves to read historical novels and watch historical biographies, and especially study about different cultures.

Later, Liz went on to complete her Masters of Teaching in Social Studies at the University of Pittsburgh while she was also a research assistant under a history education professor where she wrote grants to improve the Masters in Teaching for Social Studies Education program as well as researched and wrote articles on education techniques in Social Studies.

Liz has experience working in various types of schools and classrooms, ranging from a private catholic middle school, to a life skills classroom with students who have special needs, to rural and urban middle and high schools with AP classes, to an inner city public school that specializes in the performing arts. She was also an educator at an 18th Century British Fort and History museum and was lucky enough to work with historical artifacts from the 1700s.

Before moving to Maui, Liz most recently spent three years living and teaching in Almería, in the Andalucía region of southern Spain. She taught English as a Second Language through the Spanish government for a public school as well as at private English academies, and tutored for families. She indulged in living right on the Mediterranean Sea, speaking Spanish with her roommates, frequenting local markets and living the Spanish lifestyle. While living abroad, Liz had many adventures during her travels to other Spanish cities and greatly enjoyed learning about distinct cultures in her travels to over twenty other countries, which helps to bring a global mindset to her teaching. Liz’s paramount love is traveling and learning about new geographical locations and their cultures, as she is very keen on immersing herself in authentic environments and developing respect for distinct cultures and communities.

Liz will be teaching Social Studies and Spanish at Maui Prep, as well as having an advisory group and being a resident faculty member. She is most looking forward to connecting with her students, being a mentor for her advisees and becoming a part of the nurturing and supportive community at Maui Preparatory Academy while providing the best education possible for students.

lturcik@mauiprep.org