Regional Meetings Committee Report, Winter 2012

News from the Regional Meetings Committee (RMC), Michael McGinnis [] and Frank Creegan [] Co-Chairs

2012 Awards for Excellence in High School Teaching: Volume 2
The Division of Chemical Education provides financial support to each Regional Meeting through an unrestricted grant of $500.00 to support development of Chemical Education programming at each meeting and a grant of $1,000.00 to be awarded to a high school teacher as an ACS Division of Chemical Education Regional Award for Excellence in High School Teaching. Five regional meetings were held in Fall 2012 at which the following teaching awards were presented:

The 38th Northeast Regional Meeting (NERM): September 30-October 3, 2012, Rochester, NY

DWHostgage_small_photo.jpgThe winner of the 2012 ACS Division of Chemical Education Northeast Region Award for Excellence in High School Teaching is David Hostage from the Taft School in Watertown, CT.

David's usual academic assignment includes AP Chemistry (grades 11-12) and Honors Chemistry (grades 10-11). In some years, he adds a section of Accelerated Chemistry (grade 10) or an elective in organic chemistry or biochemistry (grades 11-12). Although he is no longer an active coach, he helps to officiate soccer games, track meets, or others as needed. He helps his students with their participation in chemistry activities like Chemathon and the ChemOlympiad (he helped to write and grade the latter for many years).

His activity within the AP Chemistry program continues at a high level.
Following his service on the Test Development Committee, he contributed multiple-choice and free-response questions for years. He presents workshops during the academic year and the summer. At the grading of the AP exam each year, he has been a Reader, Table Leader, and Question Leader. During this year of an academic sabbatical leave, he has been completing a Sixth Year Diploma in the Department of Environment Science and Science Education at Connecticut State University. Projects with the College Board, Educational Testing Service, and ACT have also kept him busy. Recently he presented for the College Board at a “train the trainers” weekend as they prepare for a new curriculum (especially labs) for AP Chemistry.

The 23rd Rocky Mountain Regional Meeting (RMRM): October 17-20, 2012, Westminster, CO

The winner of the 2012 ACS Division of Chemical Education Rocky Mountain Region Award for Excellence in High School Teaching is Lonna Schmick from Southeast High School in Yoder, WY.

Lonna teaches 7th & 8th grade science as well as 11th-12th chemistry at Southeast School in Yoder, WY (80 miles north of Cheyenne - it is a very small town).  She has been teaching science for 15 years.  Lonna is also a junior high volleyball and basketball coach as well as the district science fair coordinator.  The last two years she has been a partner teacher with the University of Wyoming GK-12 NSF Nanotechnology Program. Lonna graduated from Casper College in Casper, WY with an A.S. in Pre-Med, and the University of Wyoming with a B.S. in Biology, and a B.S. in Biology and Chemistry Secondary Education.  In addition to teaching she works part-time as an emergency medical technician with the Torrington Ambulance Service.  Lonna is married to Steve Schmick and with their two daughters Anna (12) and Kaci (11) live on the family farm southwest of Torrington, WY. 

The 47th Midwest Regional Meeting (MWRM): October 24-27, 2012, Omaha, NE

The winner of the 2012 ACS Division of Chemical Education Midwest Region Award for Excellence in High School Teaching is Kathleen Dwyer from Maplewood Richmond Heights High School in Maplewood, MO.

Kathleen Dwyer teaches Chemistry and Advanced Placement Chemistry at Maplewood Richmond Heights High School in St. Louis, MO. Her engaging classes foster an appreciation of chemistry in the everyday world. Kathleen has written curriculum that includes contemporary topics, such as polymers, nanotechnology, and alternative energy. Students enjoy working together to solve real world problems.

Kathleen also mentors students who conduct authentic science research. Projects have included studies of flame retardant efficacy, toxicology of environmental pollutants and bioremediation enhancement. Students present their research in regional and state symposia, and many have earned significant awards and scholarships.
Kathleen enjoys helping other teachers learn new ways to teach more effectively. She has designed and conducted workshops on biotechnology, curriculum design and critical thinking. These professional development opportunities have been provided for her district as well as state and national symposia. Last summer, she had the opportunity to coach and instruct science teachers and students in Kolkata, India. Providing hands-on experiences for classrooms of eighty students was challenging, but rewarding.

Kathleen earned a Master Degree in Science Education from Southern Illinois University and a Master of Science in Zoology from Miami University, where her program focused on international conservation and included studies of tropical ecology in Belize, community conservation in Kenya, and cheetah protection in Namibia. Kathleen’s students have had the opportunity to participate in projects with students from around the world.

Kathleen has achieved National Board Certification. She has received Teacher
of the Year awards from the MRH school district, Monsanto, Pfizer, and the Missouri Consortium for Science Research. She has also been awarded fellowships from the national organizations Society for Science and the Public and the International Relations and Exchanges Board.

The 68th Southwest Regional Meeting (SWRMACS): November 4-7, 2012, Baton Rouge, LA
The winner of the 2012 ACS Division of Chemical Education Southwest Region Award for Excellence in High School Teaching is Lynn E. Millikan from Saint Thomas Episcopal School in Houston, TX.

A unique feature of Lynn’s teaching includes incorporating a healthy mix of physics with chemistry, where she stresses the importance and relevance of both fields. Students at her school love Lynn because of her "logical, step-by-step approach" to problem solving. Lynn also takes her students out into real world chemistry activities such as visiting research labs at Rice and MD Anderson Medical Center. Her students routinely do well on the AP exam and develop a real love of chemistry and science. One of her students, for example, has gone on to earn a Ph.D. in Organic Synthesis and is now working at Oak Ridge National Lab.

The 64th Southeastern Regional Meeting (SERMACS): November 14-17, 2012, Raleigh, NC
The winner of the 2012 ACS Division of Chemical Education Southeastern Region Award for Excellence in High School Teaching is Susanne M. Dana from Blacksburg High School, Blacksburg, VA.

Susanne earned both her B.S. and M.S. from Virginia Tech and has been teaching in Virginia public schools for 17 years. She taught at New Horizons Governor's School for Science and Technology and the Roanoke Valley Governor's School before moving to Montgomery County in 1999. Ms. Dana has taught math, physics, and STEM courses in addition to both introductory and advanced chemistry courses. Her colleagues have noted that she has a deep and broad expertise in chemistry content knowledge as well as an exceptional understanding of how to design classroom instruction.

For the past 10 years, she has designed an annual science safety workshop for student teachers using several teaching methods (inquiry-based learning, case-based teaching approach, hands-on activities) to model best teaching practices and help future teachers deal with safety, ethical, and classroom management issues. She has served on numerous state committees concerning curriculum and assessment. At BHS, she has supported her fellow teachers by serving as the teacher representative on the new building committee as well as serving as the chair on school leadership and governance committees.

Ms. Dana was the first teacher in Montgomery County to attain National Board Certification through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. She is an active member of the Virginia Blue Ridge American Chemical Society and was chosen by the society as the Outstanding High School Chemistry Teacher of the Year in 2002. She has been teacher of the year for BHS, Montgomery County Public Schools, and received the Virginia Region VI Teacher of the Year award in 2008.

DivCHED Representative Cheryl B. Frech (left) and Awardee for Excellence in High School Teaching, Lynn E. Millikan (right), at 68th Southwestern Region Meeting Awards Ceremony in Baton Rouge. LA.

ACS President Bassam Z. Shakhashiri presents Award for Excellence in High School Teaching to David Hostage at 38th Northeast Regional Meeting in Rochester, NY.

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