Regional Meetings Committee Report, Fall 2012

News from the Regional meetings committee, Frank Creegan [fcreegan@washcoll.edu], Chair

2012 Awards for Excellence in High School Teaching

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 a ACS Division of Chemical Education Regional Award for Excellence in High School Teaching. Three regional meetings were held in Spring 2012 at which the following teaching awards were presented:

The 43rd Middle Atlantic Regional Meeting (MARM): May 31-June 2, 2012, Baltimore, MD

The winner of the 2012 ACS Division of Chemical Education Middle Atlantic Region Award for Excellence in High School Teaching is Helena Buzin from Central Bucks High School South in Warrington, PA.

Helena received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemistry with a minor in Mathematics from Wagner College in 1979. Following graduation, Helena worked as an analytical chemist for several years. While working, Helena married and had 3 children. She decided to leave industry to take care of her family. Helena then decided to return to school to pursue a degree in education. Helena received her Master of Education Degree in Science from Arcadia University in 1994, and has been employed in the Central Bucks School District since that time.

While teaching all levels of chemistry – from Conceptual through Advanced Placement- as well as Oceanography and Mathematics, Helena continued her education by taking classes in both science and education at St. Joseph’s University. During her time in Central Bucks, Helena has initiated collaborative exchanges between her high school chemistry students and elementary/ middle school students. She also developed a program with Delaware Valley College that affords Advanced Placement students the opportunity to participate in a week-long Organic Chemistry extension course. While at Central Bucks South, Helena developed and implemented a Forensic Science course that emphasizes chemistry and physics in the curriculum. The course culminates in a final assessment of analyzing a crime scene.

Helena is the advisor of Chemistry Olympiad and the National Honor Society as well as the co-advisor of the Science Olympiad team. She also acts as a mentor to new chemistry teachers in the district. She thoroughly enjoys all aspects of teaching and mentoring students, challenging each to work to the maximum of their potential while providing support and encouragement. Helena is proud of influencing students to pursue careers in chemistry, biochemistry and chemical engineering, but the most rewarding part of her job is having students remain in contact allowing her to see their successes.

Laura SlocumThe 43rd Regional Meeting (CERM): June 5-9, 2012, Dearborn, MI
The winner of the 2012 ACS Division of Chemical Education Central Region Award for Excellence in High School Teaching is Laura E. Slocum from University High School of Indiana, Carmel, IN.

Ms. Slocum is a dedicated teacher who is deeply committed to science, professional development, and most of all, her students; her consistent commitment to the ACS at the local, regional and national level is exemplary. She has served as a Local Section officer and in various positions of the Indiana Section Executive Board. She has chaired symposia at previous CERMACS and was “Chemagination Chair” in 2004 at this meeting. She has helped write the ACS High School Exam, has served on the Board of Trustees of the ACS Exam Institute, and for the last five years has been the pre-college assistant editor for the Journal of Chemical Education. In her career, Ms. Slocum has given over 40 presentations to professional groups and at conferences.

Ms. Slocum teaches traditional chemistry courses, an AP Chemistry course and a yearlong course in introductory organic chemistry and biochemistry. Her commitment to new teaching methods, including the modeling method of inquiry, is second-to-none.

Ms. Slocum has mentored her students to great success in chemistry, teaching January-term courses in NMR in conjunction with Butler University colleagues. She has helped organize a conference for girls in the Indianapolis metro area. Ms. Slocum has sent students to Science Olympiad and USNCO competitions, as well as Project SEED. She was instrumental in starting both a Science National Honors Society and an ACS Chem Club at UHS.

The 67th Northwest Regional Meeting (NORM): June 24-27, 2012, Boise, Idaho
Marianne Molendy FellerThe winner of the 2012 ACS Division of Chemical Education Jane and Glenn Crosby Northwest Region Award for Excellence in High School Teaching is Marianne Molendy Feller from Kennewick High School, Kennewick, Washington.

Ms. Feller earned her B.A. in Chemistry from Monmouth College in Monmouth, Illinois and her M.S. in General Graduate Studies (with emphases in Chemistry, Education and Statistics) from Iowa State University. She took further graduate classes at the University of Washington after her master’s degree. She began teaching in 1973 in rural Iowa, and has been teaching chemistry at Kennewick High School since 1992. In 2009, she became a National Board Certified Teacher.

At Kennewick High School, Ms. Feller teaches first-year chemistry, English Language Learners Physical Science, and International Baccalaureate Higher Level Chemistry. Her nominator stated that she “is able to motivate and excite students from those in her ELL physical science to the advanced students in her IB chemistry classes.” As described by her High School Principal, “Marianne Feller puts her heart into students on a daily basis regardless of the student’s innate academic ability.” And a former student, now in college, stated, “I remain convinced that her instruction was innovative, engaging and effective. It was amazing how much I had learned about chemistry.”

In 2010, Ms. Feller spent eight days in Guided Language Acquisition Design in the Kennewick School District. In 2009-11, she was also awarded a Teaching and Learning for the 21st Century Grant and an Enhancing Education through Technology Grant, where she was provided $11,000 for professional development and classroom technology.

Ms. Feller believes it is her challenge to change and be flexible with each new class of students as they bring their needs and wants into her classroom. She tries to teach each lesson in as many ways as she can to reach the many different learning styles. Apparently she is succeeding at inspiring, challenging, encouraging and preparing her students.

Helena Buzin AwardLaura Slocum AwardMarianne Molendy Feller Award
ACS Board Chair Bill Carroll presents Teaching Award to Helena Buzin at MARM-2012.ACS Board Chair Bill Carroll presents Teaching Award to Laura Slocum at CERM-2012.DivCHED Representative Tom Greenbowe and District 1 Director Neil Jespersen with NORM-2012 Awardee Marianne Molendy Feller.

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