Meet the Teachers!
Three teachers currently lead this program, and all are experienced educators with advanced science degrees. They also have a wide variety of interests and are prepared to guide students through research on any topic imaginable.
Ms. Jennifer Smolyn
Jen Smolyn has been at PHS for the past six years, teaching varying levels of freshman Biology as well as the three-year Research program.
While teaching last year, she completed her Masters thesis in Cell and Developmental Biology from Rutgers University, studying intracellular transport in the development of the worm species C. elegans. Prior to that, she studied the development of an analog to the kidney system in the frog X. laevis at Rider University, where she obtained her Bachelor’s of Science in Biology, as well as her Bachelors of Arts in Secondary Education.
In addition to her science and educational pursuits, Ms. Smolyn is also passionate about running, traveling to compete in half marathons throughout the country. She is one of the assistant coaches for the PHS cross country and winter track teams.
Mr. Mark Eastburn
An ecologist by training, Mark Eastburn has discovered that teaching is also fun and rewarding. He holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from St. Mary’s College of Maryland, an M.S. in Biology from Villanova University, and often considers (but never decides on) pursuing a Ph.D. in entomology or education.
Immediately after college, he entered the Peace Corps in Panama, where he worked for two years. Teaching in the Princeton Public Schools for nearly two decades, he has been an elementary school Spanish teacher at Johnson Park, an elementary science specialist at Riverside, and a biology, chemistry, engineering, and Research Program teacher at Princeton High School.
He also serves as advisor to the PHS Astrophysics Club, the “Cool-Blooded” Club, the Research Club, and the Insect-Eating Club. In his spare time (when he can find any), Mark Eastburn writes, raises bugs, and studies jumping spiders.