This school year marks a milestone for Mrs. Lisa Cardillo as she teaches her 20th year of education and 9th year here at Harrisburg High School. Mrs. Cardillo, current Leap High Director, has taught AP, advanced, and regular science classes along with PLTW Biomedical Innovations. A very involved person, she also has contributed to a plethora of other organizations within the school over the years; she has advised HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America), NHS (National Honors Society), TEAMS (Test of Engineering Aptitude, Mathematics, and Science), and Junior Prom.
Mrs. Cardillo began her college education at Denison University outside of Columbus, Ohio. After she decided to go into education, she transferred to SUNY Fredonia, earned her Masters Degree at Walden University, and received her Specialist Degree from the University of Sioux Falls. If she did not become a teacher, Cardillo said she would have been interested in genetic counseling. When asked what inspired her to enter the field of education, she recounted, “I grew up with my dad in education. He was a vice principal in my high school, but also a coach and prior to that, a teacher. So, I knew I always wanted to be a teacher of something. I had two awesome high school science teachers who motivated and inspired a passion for science— I actually still talk to them!”
Between last school year and the current one, Mrs. Cardillo transferred positions within HHS and now works as the director and science instructor at Leap High. She says, “I have always been a lifelong learner, looking for the next challenge, but I see that as an opportunity.” In this new position, she meets with families and students that have applied for the program, guides them on the path to graduation, and helps them outline their life plans after earning their diploma. She also teaches a variety of science classes to the students there.
Mrs. Cardillo has multiple experiences that are most memorable to her at HHS. She had many laughs in her classroom while doing activities such as speed dating organelles or lab experiments when students forget to plug the scale in. Meanwhile, she also feels gratitude for how the staff and admin find a way to work together to set students up for success by creating multiple pathways to graduation because, as she puts it, “No two students are the same.”
Mrs. Cardillo expresses that the most challenging part of her career is also the most rewarding: the relationships with kids. “I enjoy getting to know students as whole people and not just a student in my classroom for 40 minutes a day,” she explains. “I have always had the reputation of being a teacher that has high expectations, but I think that those students that have had me as a teacher know that I will do anything I can to help all students be successful and see that I care for them no matter how they score in my class.” HHS is incredibly fortunate to have such a hardworking and dedicated teacher who looks out for all of her students both in and outside of academics.