The Southern California ACS Outstanding High School Chemistry Teacher for 1998 is Diane McGann from Santa Ana High School. Candidates were judged by the quality of their teaching, their ability to challenge and inspire students, extracurricular work in chemistry with students, and their dedication to keeping current in chemistry. With this selection, Diane becomes SCALACS’ nominee for the 1998 ACS Regional Award in High School Chemistry Teaching. Regional winners become candidates for three years for the National ACS award, the James Bryant Conant award.
During her fourteen years teaching chemistry at SAHS, Diane has emphasized the scientific method by having her students approach their experiments as actual research, thereby reinforcing habits of analysis, logical thinking, and a drive for precise results. Every year, she has her students perform chemistry demonstrations at elementary schools. Throughout SAHS Diane is known for her irrepressible enthusiasm for teaching and her classroom is known as a high-energy environment, with students voluntarily running experiments through the lunch period and after school.
For the past seventeen years, Diane has shared her love of teaching through membership and leadership in the California Association of Chemistry Teachers (CACT). She served as president of CACT for two consecutive years, following eight years as CACT Secretary. She reaches far more students outside of her classrooms by having created a series of teacher workshops on economical experiments done with common household Chemicals. “Chemistry Wizardry”, “Ziplock Chemistry – it’s in the Bag!” and “Weather” are a few of the workshops she has developed.
Diane has received awards and grants for her exemplary teaching approach and innovative workshops. Thank you, Diane!