Excellence in High school chemistry teaching award
Congratulations to the Recipient of the 2023 Excellence in High School Chemistry Teaching Award
The Mid-Hudson Section of the American Chemical Society is pleased to announce that the 2023 recipient of the Award for Excellence in High School Chemistry Teaching is Sam Falk from Arlington High School. The award was presented at the section’s Undergraduate Research Symposium held at Bard College on Friday, April 21st.
Sam Falk received her B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering and M.S. degree in Materials Science and Engineering from Worchester Polytechnic Institute and also a M.S. in Polymer Science and Engineering from UMass. She worked for a few years as a Chemist at GE. Following that, she spent one year teaching Chemistry at Mamaroneck High before going to Arlington High School in 2006. Over the years she has taught several levels of chemistry, including Chemistry in the Community, Regents Chemistry and Honors Chemistry which entails using a variety of teaching methods to reach students with different levels of chemistry background. Sam spends much of her time developing new resources and engaging lab activities, always trying to improve the experience for her students. She tries to make real life connections and adapt her teaching materials to suit the students in her class, always looking to improve her own content knowledge and pedagogy. Ms. Falk attends many professional development programs across the country, finding the collaboration with other science teachers from around the country enriching; this enables her to bring new ideas back to Arlington.
Sam is very involved with the community beyond the classroom as well. She is the advisor of the student-run school newspaper, The Arlingtonian, which requires many additional hours to help the students write engaging articles that are of interest to the student body. Sam is also the Communications Chairperson for Arlington Teachers’ Association. As a member of the union’s leadership team, she advocates for the rights of all teachers, creating an atmosphere where teachers are supported and can provide the best education to their students.
In 2019 Sam was accepted into the New York State Master Teacher program. This is a professional network of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math teachers from around New York State. Through this program, teachers collaborate to increase their content knowledge, their pedagogy knowledge and how to be engaged with their students, families and communities.
Sam is also very active in the town of Millbrook, as a member of the Millbrook Literary Festival Steering Committee, the Facebook Page Administrator of the Millbrook Historical Society and the Public Relations Chair for the Friends of Millbrook Library.
As stated by a colleague, Sam is a dedicated and responsible teacher and role model, and genuine friend to her peers.
CONGRATULATIONS TO THE 2022 RECIPIENT OF THE EXCELLENCE IN HIGH SCHOOL CHEMISTRY TEACHING
The Mid-Hudson Section of the American Chemical Society is pleased to announce that the 2022 recipient of the Award for Excellence in High School Chemistry Teaching is Christopher Sgro. The award was presented at the section’s Undergraduate Research Symposium held at Mount Saint Mary College on April 29th.
Mr. Sgro is a Chemistry teacher at Highland High School where he has taught Advanced Placement and Regents-level courses since 2008. He is also an Adjunct Instructor at SUNY Albany and previously worked as an Adjunct Instructor at SUNY New Paltz. Chris holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Binghamton University and a Master of Arts in Teaching Chemistry from SUNY New Paltz. In addition, he is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis on Science and STEM Education from SUNY Albany.
In addition to his numerous teaching duties, Mr. Sgro is also the Lead Faculty Advisor for the Senior Class at Highland High School and the announcer for Highland Varsity football games. Chris is a published author in the field of STEM education and has facilitated programs within his own classroom integrating chemistry through unique and innovative lesson designs. Since 2013, he has instituted Project S.T.E.A.M. as a summative assessment in AP/College Chemistry. Students select a chemical principle and a medium, and then produce an artwork that demonstrates the principle either literally or metaphorically. This project has produced paintings, music videos, an opera score, sculptures, and photography. In addition, he has incorporated game design into his courses. Since 2018, students in his NYS-Regents Chemistry courses have been working on building either card or board games that afford an opportunity to learn aspects of the Periodic Table, such as atomic number, periodic trends, isotopes, valence electrons, and charge. These are just some of the examples of Chris’ exceptional creativity skills, making all levels of chemistry interesting, understandable, and relatable to his students.
Christopher Sgro accepting the award from the Section Chair, Dr. Chi Nguyen
CONGRATULATIONS TO THE 2020 AWARDEES
The Mid-Hudson Section of the American Chemical Society is pleased to announce the 2020 recipients of the Award for Excellence in High School Chemistry Teaching.We know all the teachers are going above and beyond during this challenging time. Therefore, this year the Section is thrilled to be able to award two chemistry teachers from the Mid-Hudson region. Jason Pavlich has been teaching Honors Regents Chemistry, Advanced Placement Chemistry, and International Baccalaureate Chemistry at Red Hook High School since 2000. Mr. Pavlich earned his B.A. in chemistry from Bard College and M.S. in Chemical Education from SUNY New Paltz. Jason has consistently provided his students with the opportunity to participate in the ACS Chemistry Olympiad for the past 15+ years, and his students have been chosen to participate in the national exam for 11 of those years.
Mr. Pavlich constantly strives to improve upon his content knowledge through graduate courses, summer workshops, and seminars. He has participated in oceanographic research expeditions to the Bering Sea (Bering Sea Ecosystem Study) and the Arctic Ocean (Circumpolar Flaw Lead Study) and is an active member of both the National Science Teachers Association and the American Chemical Society. An Emeritus of the NYS Master Teacher Program, Mr. Pavlich participated in numerous mini-courses and was a member of the chemistry and Application of the Next Generation Science Standards into K-5th grade Classrooms Professional Learning Teams. In addition to his academic position, Pavlich has served as advisor to numerous clubs and as the Head Girls Varsity Soccer Coach since 2002.
Marsilio Langella is currently an AP Chemistry instructor at Mahopac High School in New York and also an adjunct chemistry professor at Westchester Community College. He received a BA in Chemistry from Manhattan College, and a MA in Science Education from Lehman College. He is also a NYS certified chemistry and chemical technology instructor. Mr. Langella has over 30 years of experience teaching AP Chemistry and is a College Board AP Chemistry consultant since 1994, as well as, a College Board workshop coordinator. He teaches AP chemistry to sophomores as a first year chemistry program. He initiated and established AP chemistry programs in three different high schools. Mark Langella has been an AP chemistry consultant for over 23 years mentoring new AP Chemistry instructors and has worked for Industry as a consultant for educational programs since 1990. He is also author of Syllabus # 4 in AP College Board Handbook.
He is also the founder and director of the Putnam/Westchester Industry and Science Teacher Alliance (PWISTA) and has been a coordinating board member of both the SUNY Purchase Alliance of Chemistry Educators (1990-2000), as well as, the Teaching Center at SUNY Purchase (1999-2002).
Mr. Langella is currently the STANY’s Westchester/ Bronx Section science area representative for chemistry and has been nominated for 2020-2021 Chairperson for Bronx/Westchester STANYS. He is also the author of numerous published experimental kits and AP chemistry labs for FLINN Scientific.
CONGRATULATING OUR 2019 AWARDEE!!
The Mid-Hudson Section of the American Chemical Society is pleased to announce that the 2019 recipient of the Award for Excellence in High School Chemistry Teaching is Margaret Loh. The award was presented at the section’s Undergraduate Research Symposium held at Vassar College on April 24th.
Mrs. Loh has been a Chemistry teacher at John Jay High School since 2001 where she has taught all levels of chemistry, including Advanced Placement, Honors, Regents and non-Regents level courses. She holds a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Science degree in Chemistry, as well as Secondary Science Education certification. Through Mrs. Loh’s encouragement and dedication, participation by John Jay students in the local ACS exam for the Chemistry Olympiad started and has continually grown. The local ACS exam is now taken by first- and second-year chemistry students typically with numbers from 50-60. In addition, each year John Jay receives at least one invitation for the national exam, though usually two!
Margaret was accepted into the New York State Master Teacher Program in January of 2015. She is constantly attending summer workshops to improve her knowledge and teaching skills. She has developed extensive materials for teaching chemistry and willingly shares them with colleagues. This also includes hosting student teachers and teachers-in-training. She utilizes an array of teaching methods, including Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning activities in class as well as use of Google Classroom.
2014 Awardee - CHRISTINE MARMO AWARDED MID-HUDSON ACS EXCELLENCE IN HIGH SCHOOL CHEMISTRY TEACHING
Christine Marmo is the 2014 recipient of the Mid-Hudson ACS Excellence in High School Chemistry Teaching Award. This award is presented to anoutstanding high school chemistry teacher currently teaching within the Mid-Hudson Section of the American Chemical Society. This award will be formally presented to her at the Undergraduate Research Symposium to be held at SUNY New Paltz on April 25th.
Ms. Marmo, a native of the Philadelphia area, received a B.S. in Plant Science from Penn State University and an M.S. from the University of Massachusetts. Early in her career she worked at the Hudson Valley Laboratory in Highland and taught at SUNY Ulster. She attended SUNY New Paltz and obtainer her NYS certification in Biology and Chemistry, and since 1989 has been teaching both Regents and Honors Chemistry at Kingston High School.
During her tenure at Kingston High School, she also taught Botany at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies and spent five summers at Bard College. There, through the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and John Hopkins University award, she was funded to conduct research in the Biology Department.
Since 2006, she has teamed up with an artist at Kingston High School to teach a course entitled Chemistry for Artists. Christine has had the unique opportunity to teach applied chemistry to art students as it relates to the artists’ materials and in turn, the students use physical and chemical characteristics of these materials as an expressive tool.
Christine plans on retiring from teaching at Kingston High School in June of 2015. She is still pondering her next project. She lives with her husband in the village of New Paltz.