2019 National Board of Directors Election Candidate for High School Representative

Maartha LietzMartha Lietz

Niles West High School
Skokie, Illinois 60077
marlie@d219.org or lietzma@gmail.com


  • A.B. Physics, Vassar College, 1987
  • M.S. Physics, Carnegie Mellon University, 1989
  • Secondary Education Certification, DePaul University, 1990

Professional Experience

  • North Park College, Summer School Professor 1989-1991
  • Harper Community College, Instructor, Fall 1989
  • Niles West High School, AP Physics Teacher, 1990 - Present
  • College Board Consultant, 1997-Present


  • American Association of Physics Teachers
  • Chicago Section AAPT
  • Illinois State Physics Project - Chicago Teaching Alliance
  • Physics Northwest - Chicago Teaching Alliance

AAPT Activities

  • Member of the Committee on Educational Technologies (2000-2003)
  • Past Chair of the Committee on Physics in High Schools
  • PTRA Member (1992-1998)
  • Past President - Chicago Section AAPT
  • Past Section Rep - Chicago Section AAPT
  • Secretary and Treasurer - Chicago Section AAPT
  • AAPT Master Teacher Leader Task Force - 2015-2016
  • Co-Founder and Organizer- AAPT High School Physics Teacher Camp (2015-Present)
  • Editorial Board Member, The Physics Teacher (2014-Present)

Other Professional Activities and Honors

  • National Board Certified Teacher (2009 - Present)
  • College Board™ Consultant (1997- Present) Facilitate one-day workshops and week-long instituted for teachers who will be teaching AP® Physics. 
  • AP® Physics Test Development Committee Member (2001-2005, 2010-2016)  Collaborated on a 7 person committee to write AP® Physics Exams; developed AP® Audit materials for teachers; edited inquiry-based lab book;
  • AP® Reader, Table Leader and Question Leader (1997-2015) - Read AP® Exams, lead teams of teachers at the Reading, developed rubrics, student samples and other teacher training materials from the Reading.
  • Illinois Section AAPT Outstanding High School Teacher - 2015-2016
  • Homer L. Dodge Distinguished Service Citation - Summer 2014
  • Chicago Section AAPT Distinguished Service Award - October 2011
  • ISPP John Rush Award -  June 2000
  • ISPP Harald Jensen Award -  April 1998


It is an honor to be nominated as a candidate for High School Representative on the AAPT Executive Board.  AAPT has been my professional home since my first teaching job in 1989, and I have grown and been shaped as a teacher through my work with AAPT colleagues at the high school, two-year college and university levels.

My first AAPT national meeting was the 1978 summer meeting in London, Ontario. I was 13 years old. My dad took the whole family to the meeting with him and we vacationed in Canada.  I don’t remember much of that meeting, but I still have a fossil that I found near the river during the picnic. It would be another 11 years before I became a member of AAPT myself and started attending local and national meetings on a regular basis.

My father encouraged me to apply to the PTRA Program in 1992 and it was one of the best decisions I made during my career.  The program not only taught me solid pedagogy but also gave me the confidence to share my new learnings with other teachers in my local area.  I owe a whole lot of who I am as a teacher to the PTRA program.

I have served for various years in leadership roles in the Chicago Section, starting in the presidential chain, then as Section Rep, taking over as Secretary a few years ago and as Treasurer last year.  I have enjoyed hosting several CS-AAPT meetings at Niles West, inviting as keynote speakers individuals whom I met at national meetings to share their expertise with my local colleagues.

My first exposure to the governance of national AAPT was as a member of the Ed Tech Committee, and then as a Section Rep for Chicago.  I was invited to serve as Chair of the Committee on Physics in High Schools in 2011.  It was wonderful helping organize sessions and workshops specifically directed to the needs and interests of high school teachers.  At the 2014 summer meeting, I met Kelly O’Shea, and together with Diane Riendeau and Steve Iona, we developed the first AAPT High School Teacher Camp in 2015. It brought up to 50 teachers together each year for the last four years near the national summer meeting.  Teacher Camp has been a wonderful experience of self-directed sharing, as well as learning from PER researchers. It has also brought new members to AAPT and the national meeting each year.

It would be an honor to serve on the Executive board to further the interests of physics teachers in general, and our high school teaching constituency specifically.  I plan to listen to the needs of our current membership while working to provide resources and programming to attract more high school teachers to both local section and national AAPT meetings.  AAPT has been my greatest resource as a physics teacher and I would like to see it continue to grow and serve teachers at all levels nationwide.