2010 High School Teacher of the Year
“Stamp of Approval”
Have you ever thought of your “chemical pedigree”? Who influenced you most in your choice to study chemistry? Chances are good that if you were to determine which chemist was the greatest influence to that person and so on and so on, you’d be able to find your chemical grandfather and his/her father, etc…
When I first began teaching way back in 1983, it was under the guidance of Frank Andrews at UC Santa Cruz as part of the undergraduate teaching program in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry there. As a chemical educator, Frank was my “academic father” so to speak and it turns out that he has many other “academic progeny” – my “chemical educator brothers and sisters”. I am incredibly honored and pleased to announce that Michael Morgan of Francisco Bravo Medical Magnet High School (Bravo) is the 2010 SCALACS Outstanding High School Chemistry Teacher – a fellow Banana Slug (UCSC alumnus)! Because of his longstanding dedication to high school chemical education in the greater LA area, Michael has already established a legacy in the LAUSD. Like the late Jaime Escalante, several of Michael’s former students now teach at Bravo. Furthermore, in a recent poll of potential teachers earning their credential at UCLA, a majority of them credited Mr. Morgan as their inspiration to become a teacher! He has produced one of the consistently highest averages for students on the annual high school Chemistry Olympiad exams. The list of science teams he has coached, professional activities (local, regional and national) and diverse areas of interest (from bridge building to chemical philately – stamps) is long, distinguished and dates back over two decades. This level of achievement by Michael is an obvious inspiration to his students to accomplish more with their lives. What greater tribute by them is there than “paying it forward” by becoming a teacher – one of Michael’s own “academic progeny”?!
I have often said that a measure of a person’s greatness can be measured in the number of lives positively touched. According to a nominating letter, “Michael Morgan deserves to be honored as the 2010 High School Chemistry Teacher of the Year for all that he has done for students, fellow teachers, and the field of chemistry education.” Congratulations Michael Morgan on your accomplishments and the legacy that you are already building toward a better chemically educated world!
– Paul Shin,