The Southern California ACS Outstanding High School Chemistry Teacher for 1997 is Cynthia Chubbuck from San Marino 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, Cynthia becomes SCALACS’ nominee for the 1997 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.
For twelve years at SMHS, Cynthia has been a tireless inspiration to her chemistry students, many of whom pursued science careers, citing her influence. She is known school-wide for maintaining superior yet realistic expectations for student performance, and for supporting yet not pampering them. Students are able to deduce correct rules and approaches, thereby solidifying these lessons, through her analogies and exercises. Her labs are valued for the challenging follow-up questions, and for the student-designed experiments. She gives much of her own time to prepare students for the AP exam (there is no official AP course at SMHS) and SAT II, in addition to chemistry finals, which inspires the students to do their part.
Besides receiving other salutes for teaching excellence from Harvey Mudd College and the San Marino Rotary Club, Cynthia was named the San Gabriel Valley Volleyball Coach of the Year in 1990. Cynthia Chubbuck is an athlete as well as a fine teacher. What an inspiration!
– Elizabeth Erickson-Kau
1997 Chair, SCALACS Committee on Education