2008-5-30: Educational Awards Banquet

Friday, May 30th, 2008

Mount St. Mary’s College, Doheny Campus

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

Cherryl Vorak
Southern California Outstanding High School Teacher of the Year

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

This year, we had almost 1,300 students representing 30 high schools throughout Los Angeles County take the Local ACS Exam in March. The top overall school was Arcadia High School, while North Hollywood scored the highest for the top 10 students taking their first year of chemistry. From these students, 15 students representing 11 high schools were selected to take the National ACS Chemistry Exam on April 19th for a chance to be one of the 20 nationwide who will be attending the Chemistry Camp in June. 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. Please see Page 4 for a biography of Cherryl Vorak.

Reservations: We have an Enchilada Buffet featuring chicken and cheese enchiladas with all the fixings. The cost of the dinner is $17 per person or $12 for students, cash or check at the door. Please call Nancy Paradiso in the Section Office at 310 327-1216 or email office-at-scalacs-dot-org by Tuesday, May 29th, 2007 for reservations. Note: Please honor your reservation. If you make a reservation and do not attend, you will be liable for the cost of the dinner.

Directions: From the Santa Monica Freeway (10), exit at Hoover and travel south about 3/4 mile. Turn left on Adams Blvd. and travel 3 blocks. Turn left on St. James Place and then right on St. James Park. From the Harbor (110) Freeway, exit at Adams Blvd. Travel 1/2 mile west on Adams. Turn right onto St. James Place and right on St. James Park. The Donohue Conference Center is on the northwest corner of St. James Park and Chester Place. Parking will be in the AAA Lot on the corner of St. James Place and St. James Park.

Cherryl Vorak
2008 Outstanding High School
Chemistry Teacher Award

The Future of Science

With her as a high school teacher, I see the future of science.
-Arcadia High School parent

With the nation’s scientific literacy in unfortunate decline, it is with the dedication and efforts of teachers like this year’s Outstanding High School Chemistry Teacher Award, Cherryl Vorak of Arcadia High School (AHS), that there is still hope for the future. Cherryl teaches around 150 students in chemistry at AHS and provides many demonstrations to illustrate the concepts presented in class. The way she smiles brightly as she fondly reminisces about her students’ excited responses clearly shows her enthusiasm towards conducting the many demos in her repertoire. The extra effort in preparing such demos is just an example of the overall dedication and commitment Cherryl has to her students. This all is not without reward as her students recently won the 2008 1st place Overall School performance in the ACS Chemistry Olympiad competition – again! In fact, Cherryl’s chemistry students have consistently placed first in the ACS Chemistry Olympiad competition in either Overall School performance or First Year Students performance for the past six years! This kind of success is quite a legacy for a chemistry teacher so early in her career. To motivate her students, Cherryl constantly reminds them that this is a “competition” and not an exam! And so they rise to the occasion repeatedly and without fail. It is easy to see how she successfully motivates her students when she freely admits, “I am a mentor who believes in students’ potential and urges students to reach for their dreams.”

– Paul Shin, Ph.D.
Chair, Educational Affairs Committee