East Syracuse, N.Y., teacher wins top award for teaching chemistry

June 19, 2003

Sally B. Mitchell, a chemistry teacher at East Syracuse-Minoa Central High School in East Syracuse, N.Y., received the Northeast Regional High School Chemistry Teacher Award from the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society, during the Society's Northeast regional meeting, June 16-18, in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

Mitchell, a teacher for 12 years, is the school's Mole Day founder and faculty advisor to the Science Olympiad team. A mole is a unit of measurement commonly used in chemistry. Mitchell recruited faculty members from the high school's academic departments to participate in Mole Day -- observed annually on Oct. 23 -- and also solicited the support of ABC News commentator Sam Donaldson who sent a personal message via videotape to the students.

Mitchell "inspired the entire school to become engaged in intellectual endeavors... [including] Pi Day sponsored by the math department, Shakespeare's birthday celebration sponsored by the English department, and Renaissance day, a complete interdisciplinary day scheduled for April," said Janice Dowling, principal of East Syracuse-Minoa Central High School.

Additionally, Mitchell's vision and leadership for the school's Science Olympiad program enabled the program to grow from five students to more than forty, all of whom spend time outside the school day on challenging scientific endeavors.

Mitchell received her B.S. in chemistry and biology and her M.S. from the School of Education at Syracuse University. She is a doctoral student in Syracuse University's science education program.
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The American Chemical Society's High School Chemistry Teaching Award recognizes educators who challenge and inspire their students, provide high quality instruction and participate in extracurricular activities that stimulate young people's interest in chemistry.

American Chemical Society

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