Regional Meetings Committee Report, Spring 2017

Marty Perry ( 2016 Chair

The Regional Meetings Committee (RMC) is charged by the Division to:

  1. Provide oversight of the ACS Division of Chemical Education Region Awards, which includes the development and maintenance of Award Guidelines, participation in the selection and presentation of the Region Awards,
  2. Insure that a Chemical Education Program is part of each Regional Meeting, and
  3. Promote the purpose and work of the ACS Division of Chemical Education.

RMC is pleased to outline in this NEWSLETTER Report recent efforts to address its charge.

    1. ACS Division of Chemical Education Region Awards:
      Fall 2016 Awardees for Excellence in High School Teaching
      Seven of the ten ACS Regions held meetings in 2016 providing opportunities to recognize and reward excellence in the teaching of high school chemistry. We reported in the Fall 2016 issue of the NEWSLETTER on the three Spring Awards; RMC is pleased to report on the following four region Awards presented in Fall 2016.

       The 51st ACS Midwest Regional Meeting, October 26-28, 2016, Manhattan, KS

      The winner of the 2016 Division of Chemical Education Midwest Region Award for Excellence in High School Chemistry Teaching, in Honor of John E. Bauman, Jr., is Gissel McDonald from Spring Hill High School in Spring Hill, KS.

Gissel McDonald received her BA in Biology with minor in Chemistry at Texas A&M University in 1999. She began her teaching career in Oklahoma where she taught middle school science, high school biology, chemistry, physics, and was also an adjunct professor at Connors State College. In 2003, she moved to Olathe, KS, and has taught at Spring Hill High School ever since. At SHHS, Gissel has taught Chemistry I and Chemistry II. While she still teaches and loves Chemistry, she developed a Material Science and Technology course in 2010 which has been a huge success with students of all academic abilities. In 2010, se was selected as a Master Teacher forASM Materials Science Teachers Camp Program. In this role, Gissel travels to various academic institutions across the U.S. during the summer to teach week-long professional development programs for high school science teachers. These programs are designed to introduce teachers to material science in an effort to provide teachers more tools, hands- on activities, and real-life applications of chemistry to use in their classrooms. Gissel has also presented at an NSTA Regional Conference. In 2007, Gissel was selected as the Spring Hill High School Teacher of the Year. In addition to teaching, she has also served her school as the Student Council sponsor for many years, High School Girls Track Coach, and FCA sponsor. Gissel has been married to Brian for 17 years. They have 2 children who keep her very busy. Maddux is 4 years old, and Eva is 2 years old.  

The 68th ACS Southeast Regional Meeting,
October 23-26, 2016, Columbia, SC

The winner of the 2016 Division of Chemical Education Southeast Region Award
for Excellence in High School Chemistry Teaching
is Robert R. Gotwals, Jr.
from North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics in Durham, NC.

Robert teaches chemistry in the residential program and a series of computational science courses (introductory, chemistry, biology, scientific programming, and medicinal chemistry) for NCSSM Online. He runs a research group in computational science residentially, with students doing independent research in computational science and students working in computational mouse biology with the Jackson Laboratory. He is fluent in American Sign Language, a long-time Braille transcriber and instructor. Robert spent 11 years with the Marines (corpsman) and 11 years as a Naval intelligence officer. He received his BS in Chemistry from East Carolina University and a MS.Ed from the University of Rochester and the Rochester Institute of Technology.


The 73rd ACS Southwest Regional Meeting,
November 10-13, 2016, Galveston, TX

The winner of the 2016 Division of Chemical Education Southwest Region Award
for Excellence in High School Chemistry Teaching
is Carol B. Brown
from St. Mary’s Hall in San Antonio, TX.

Carol teaches Advanced Placement and Honors Chemistry at Saint Mary’s Hall in San Antonio, TX. She is a past president of The Associated Chemistry Teachers of Texas and an active member of The American Chemical Society. As such, she served on the ChemMatters advisory board for 2 years. She gives numerous workshops in Advanced Placement Chemistry and Pre-AP Science for Middle School. She is a contributing author to “AP Vertical Teams in Science, Social Studies, Foreign Language, Studio Art, and Music Theory” published by The College Board, “Advanced Placement and TEKS: A Lighthouse Initiative for Texas Science Classrooms” published by TEA, and “Laying the Foundations to Advanced Placement Science” published by Advanced Placement Strategies, Inc. Among her awards are the 1984 Southwest Regional Award in High School Chemistry Teaching (ACS), the CMA Regional Catalyst Award, The Advanced Placement Special Recognition Award (Southwest Region) 1989 and 1997, the 1993 Tandy Technology Scholars National Award, the 1999 Siemens Award for Advanced Placement, Saint Mary's Hall Master Teacher Award, the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching-Texas Finalist 2015, and the Outstanding Texas Educator from Texas Academy of Science 2016. Carol has been an AP Reader for 13 years, served on the AP Chemistry Test Development Committee for 9 years, and served 2 years on the AP Chemistry Curriculum Redesign Committee.

The ACS Northeastern Regional Meeting, 
October 5-8, 2016, Binghamton, NY

The winner of the 2016 Division of Chemical Education Northeastern Region Award
for Excellence in High School Chemistry Teaching
is Tracy Suggs
from Vestal High School in Vestal, NY.

Tracy joined the faculty at Vestal High School in 1992, and has chaired the Chemistry Department since 2003. During her tenure, she has taught a variety of chemistry classes, including both Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses. In addition to her outstanding work in the classroom, Tracy demonstrates an outstanding commitment to her students by advising extracurricular activities for them, such as the Chemistry Magic Show and the Science Olympiad. In addition, as a New York State Master Teacher, she actively supports her colleagues by facilitating professional development. Tracy also serves as an education consultant to the New York State Education Department.


Finalists for the Fall 2016 ACS Division of Chemical Education Region Awards for Excellence in High School Teaching:

In 2014 RMC began the practice of using the CHED Newsletter to recognize all nominees for the Region Award for Excellence in High School Teachingand the schools at which they teach.  In the tables below we list each Region Award, the 2016 Recipient, and all those whose complete nomination portfolios came before the Region Awards Committees. 

2016 ACS Division of Chemical Education Midwest Region Award for
Excellence in High School Teaching, in Honor of John E. Bauman, Jr.


Gissel McDonald
Spring Hill High School
Spring Hill, KS 66083


Roseanne Hoffman
Harrisonville School District
Harrisonville, MO 6470

Laurie Kallhoff
Canby High School
Canby, MN 56220

Kristi Deaver Uselding
Ankeny Centennial High School
Ankeny, IA 50023




2016 ACS Division of Chemical Education Southeast Region
Award for Excellence in High School Teaching


Robert R. Gotwals, Jr.
North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics
Durham, NC


Emily Gilstrap
Easley High School
Easley, SC 29642
Romina M. Jannotti
Paul J. Haggerty High School
Oviedo, FL 32765
LaShawn McNeil
Lincoln High School
Tallahassee, FL 32311




2016 ACS Division of Chemical Education Southwest Region Award for
Excellence in High School Teaching


Carol B. Brown
St. Mary’s Hall
San Antonio, TX 78217


Karen Compton
Plano East Senior High School
Plano, TX 75074


Michelle DuBay
Hubbard High School
Hubbard, TX 76648


Theresa Delong
College Park High School
The Woodlands, TX 77384
Usha Devanthosh
North Houston Early College High School Houston, TX 77065
Carolyn Ericson
Clements High School
Sugar Land, TX 77479
Gale Hunt
Hebron High School
Carrolton, TX 75010
Sarwat Jafry
St. John’s School
Houston, TX 77019



2016 ACS Division of Chemical Education Northeast Region
Award for Excellence in High School Teaching


Tracy L. Suggs
Vestal High School
Vestal, NY 13850


Judith D. Ashworth
Manchester High School
Manchester, NH 03103
Deborah A. Day
Amity Regional High School
Woodbridge CT 06525
Maggie Estlinbaum
Jordan-Elbridge High School
Marcellus, NY 13108
Cary James
Bangor High School
Bangor, ME 04401
Amy Matts
Spackenkill High School
Poughkeepsie, NY 12603

2. Region Award Nominations:

RMC continues to pursue ways by which a spectrum of Society-affiliated groups can participate in the Region Award nomination process.

  • Converting Regions Awardees to James Bryant Conant Nominees:

Beginning with the 2015 Region Awards, DivCHED Representatives to individual Regional Meetings took leadership roles to facilitate the nomination of Region Awardees for the James Bryant Conant Award. 

  • Chemical Education Programming at Regional Meetings:
  • DivCHED Representative Involvement in Programming

RMC continues to be concerned by the lack of interest on the part of some Regional Meeting organizing committees in having more than a single session in their program devoted to Chemical Education. RMC is increasing its efforts to contact organizing committees early on in the planning process to not only encourage Chemical Education programming but to also volunteer to organize a symposium, general session, or poster session. Our recent efforts have led to additional programming at NORM-2016 and MARM-2017. RMC is also exploring partnerships with AACT to encourage and sponsor pre-college programming at regional meetings.

  • Regional Meeting Planning Conference (RMPC):

The RMC was represented by Marty Perry at the Regional Meetings Planning Conference (RMPC) held on November 2-4, 2016 at ACS Headquarters. Leaders for the upcoming ACS Regional Meetings were provided information about how the Division of Chemical Education can assist their organizing committees with programming support. A new Region Board track included representatives from seven of the ten ACS regions. Both groups of attendees were also provided award guidelines for the Excellence in High School Teaching Award.

3. Promotion of ACS Division through Regional Meetings:

RMC continues its joint project with the New Members Committee involving the design, preparation, and display of a poster that describes, using text and images, the mission and activities of the Division of Chemical Education. The poster is displayed by the DivCHED Representative, at each of the Regional Meetings, in a formal poster session and/or in the Registration area. The poster serves as a device to disseminate information about Division and to recruit new members to the Division.

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