Teacher to Feature: Mrs. Hinrichsen

Prashasti Awadhiya ('12)/Eastside radio manager

Mrs. Nancy Hinrichsen has been teaching at East for 15 years now, and she has enjoyed every single one. After working as a chemical engineer, she decided that she wanted to be closer to home so she interviewed in a neighboring school for a teaching job. Through some acquaintances, she attained the chemistry teacher position at Cherry Hill East and has not had a single regret. Even as a student in high school, Hinrichsen showed a passion for chemistry and therefore decided to pursue a career in it. In fact, when she was in college, she initially pursued a Masters in chemistry but then switched to a chemical engineer.

       This year, Hinrichsen teaches Chemistry 1H and QPS. She tries to develop scenarios in her teaching to force students to think. In fact, her goal in class is for the students to actively participate by thinking about topics. At the end of each lesson, there is homework from the textbook.

       “Students shouldn’t have to bring textbooks to class. Just their minds,” Hinrichsen says.

“She keeps everyone focused in the classroom,” says Thomas Hudson (’14), a QPS student.

Hinrichsen is always before and after school for extra help.

“She makes what we learn about very easy to understand,” says Ravin Patel (’12), a Chem Honors student.

Hinrichsen now advises three different clubs: Future Engineer’s Club, the Chemistry Club and the Quidditch Club. Both the Future Engineer’s Club and the Quidditch Club are recent additions to the school, founded by current seniors Jen Ho (’11) and Allison King (’11) respectively. 

But Hinrichsen has been advising the Chemistry Club for seven years now. According to Hinrichsen, the main reason she is involved with so many activities is because she only witnesses one side of the students in the classroom. She wants to learn about her students in other capacities.

“It’s one dimensional in the class” she says. 

 She also organizes an annual Lockheed-Martin field trip for Women in Engineering Day, but this year she was not able to attend. Earlier in March, Hinrichsen, along with Mr. Michael Hischak and Ms. Breen, went to Rutgers for a field trip on engineering as well.

“As the year passes on, I get a feel for what pace I should be at. It varies with each class,” she says.