Outstanding High School Chemistry Teacher of the Year
Meeting the Challenge
Knowing when to use the proverbial carrot and/or stick to motivate students over his fourteen-year tenure at South High School of Torrance has been the secret to Vincent Ward’s successful High School Chemistry Olympiad program. This method of challenging his students to excel provides them with the individualized incentive to do well in his Honors and Advanced Placement (AP) Chemistry classes as well. Because of his dedication to the Chemistry Olympiad and invaluably serving to ensure the proper dissemination of the exam and collection for grading, Vince is being honored with this year’s Outstanding High School Chemistry Teacher Award.
Aptly challenging students can bring about both short and long term successes. Vince’s high success rate proves that he can motivate his students successfully. He has had students win both the individual event as well as South High having won the team event twice on the Chemistry Olympiad Exam and typically has a greater than 90% passing rate on the AP Chemistry Exam. Recently, one of Vince’s students attributed his success in medical school to Vince’s encouragement and motivation technique. Mr. Ward attributes his success to his love for his subject matter and his enthusiasm for teaching it. To lead by example, Vince has begun studying Jazz Guitar- no small feat for such a busy person! Often the last teacher on campus helping his students late into the evening, his students see the dedication he has to them and their efforts. At the request of the Educational Testing Service, Vince has served as an AP Chemistry Reader for the past four years that helps his AP Chemistry students. Unfortunately this has meant missing SCALACS Educational Awards Banquet where many of his students have earned awards for doing well on the Chemistry Olympiad. Fortunately, this year he will not have to miss supporting his students and looks forward to the awards ceremony.
Congratulations again to Vincent Ward as this year’s Outstanding High School Chemistry Teacher!
P.S. Vince has never used the stick!
– Paul Shin
Educational Awards Chair