To look back on a career and know that it’s changed the world—that is, by far, the hallmark of a life well lived. For North Royalton High School (NRHS) math teacher Lisa Arvay, her past thirty years have made that very impact on students, as she worked tirelessly to ensure they not only understood the intricacies of mathematics, but genuinely enjoyed learning through her passion and dedication to her craft.
Arvay found teaching to be most rewarding when the students thrived. “My favorite part of teaching was when a struggling student started to succeed,” Arvay said. “It was a great life lesson to teach kids that persistence pays off, even when life is hard.”
During her tenure at NRHS, Arvay has taught an array of courses, including AP Calculus AB, Geometry, Algebra, Trigonometry, General Math 1 and 2, Transition to College Math, Modified Geometry, Algebra 1, and Algebra 2/Trigonometry. Of all of these classes, Arvay said, “Teaching Calculus was my favorite. I love it.”
One of her favorite memories involved an AP Calculus class in 2012. “Every student earned a five on the AP Calculus AB exam,” she said. “So I had a party at Memorial Park and gave all my kids a Take 5 candy bar in honor of their fives on the test.”
When she wasn’t teaching, she spent her time coaching volleyball, softball, and cross country. Arvay also led kids down the slopes as a Ski Club advisor for 25 years.
Although she’s a natural in front of the class, that wasn’t the original plan. She intended to use her bachelor’s degree in mathematics to work in applied math, but then she broke her leg in college. Because she played D1 sports, she had an extra year and decided to get a certificate to teach math. She then came home to North Royalton, where she originally began walking the halls in 1978 as a student, learning to love math from her teacher Pete Grumbling. She said, “To this day I try to emulate my former calculus teacher.”
Despite her adoration for teaching, she admits it can be a challenging career, but Arvay credits her successes to working with wonderful colleagues. “Early in my career I really learned from Bernie Kroviak and Chuck Gibson. They were outstanding mentors and I respected them deeply,” Arvay said.
Although Arvay acknowledged that the workload outside of the school day is extremely taxing for many teachers, she said the “influence that teachers can have on kids is so positive. They can serve as mentors and role models, demonstrating a good work ethic and manners.” In this “selfless” career, Arvay said that it’s possible to be a good teacher by dedicating yourself to the students and everything they need in order to grow.
Despite a glorious career, Arvay looks forward to retirement. She plans to spend time with family and visit Italy, but she cannot stop helping others. “I plan to work with Hand of Hope to feed the poor, assist with disaster relief, and visit Africa to help those in need,” she said.
Lisa Arvay has given herself to North Royalton students for over thirty years, and her absence will be felt daily at the school, though, it is clear, all have benefited from her years of service as a teacher, mentor, and colleague.

Submitted by
English Teacher Michael Hemery