2014-05-16: Educational Awards Banquet 100th Anniversary

Educational Awards Banquet
Commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the High School Contest in Southern California!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Mount St. Mary’s College, Doheny Campus
Donahue Center
10 Chester Place
Los Angeles, CA 90007

Awards will be presented to the top-placing students in the local High School Chemistry Olympiad, to their teachers, to local ACS scholars and to

Dr. Debbie Bennett, Recipient of
The 2014 Paul Shin Memorial
High School Teacher of the Year Award

6:00 p.m. Check-in
6:30 p.m. Dinner
7:30 p.m. Presentation of Awards

This year, we had more than 1,400 students representing over 40 high schools throughout Los Angeles County take the Local ACS Exam in March. Harvard-Westlake High School finished first overall while North Hollywood High School edged out Arcadia High School by one point to finish first for first year students. The winners of the local exam were invited to participate in the National Exam on April 26th at Cal. State Dominguez Hills for a chance to be part of the International Olympiad in July in Hanoi, Vietnam. These students, as well as the top performers and teachers from each school of 10 or more participants, will be honored at our annual Educational Awards Banquet, along with the Paul Shin Memorial High School Teacher of the Year, Debbie Bennett (see page 4 for her biography).

Reservations: We have an Enchilada Buffet featuring chicken and cheese enchiladas with all the fixings. The cost of the dinner is $20 per person or $15 for students, cash or check at the door. Please call Nancy Paradiso in the Section Office at 310 327-1216 or email office@scalacs.org by Monday, May 12, 2014 for reservations.

Directions: The meeting will take place on the Doheny Campus in the Donahue Center in McIntyre Hall. For directions, please go to http://www.msmc.la.edu/about-msmc/our-campuses/driving-instructions.asp.

Debbie Bennett photo Bennett.jpg

Dr. Deborah Bennett
2014 Paul Shin Memorial High School Teacher of the Year Recipient

I have asked my friend and colleague Larry Walker to write the story of this year’s winner of the Paul Shin Memorial Award Debbie Bennett. While I have known Debbie for almost ten years, Larry has worked with her much more closely and knows her better than I do. I know Debbie is most deserving of this and has informed me about how much it meant to her when she was notified that she had been selected. She worked with Paul Shin in the Northridge Chemistry Teachers Group. I remember seeing her at Paul’s funeral and realizing how much his passing had impacted her and I am quite sure he is looking down quite proudly on her.

– Michael A. Morgan, Chair
Educational Affairs Committee

Dr. Deborah “Debbie” Bennett was born in Brooklyn, NY, but has been an “Angeleno” since the age of 2. At Westlake (now Harvard-Westlake) High School, her Chemistry Teacher, Craig Deutsche, had a huge influence on her life. He blew things up, shrunk rulers so measurements wouldn’t work and generally made the class fun. These traits she now passes on to her own students.

She went on to major in Chemistry at Duke and received a Ph.D. in Analytical Chem at LSU. For 12 years she then formulated cosmetics before entering the cauldron of teaching at Canoga Park high School. In her first year there, Debbie had no Prep Period and taught 3 different courses. She is filled with gratitude for the lessons, equipment and moral support given her by Barbara Sitzman and Judy Baumwirt in that traumatic year.

After 12 more years she moved on to join Larry Walker at Calabasas H.S. where she now leads the science department and is known as an innovator and a real leader in the district.

Debbie met Paul Shin at Judy Baumwirt’s teacher support sessions, and was struck by his passion for teaching and clarity of ideas on conveying Chemistry to students.

Dr. Bennett met her husband Gene when both were members of the same research team at Duke. In their 32 year marriage they have had two daughters. She apologizes that both are lawyers, but they tried. As infants their nursery was decorated with Periodic Charts!

– Larry Walker, Education Committee