Good chemistry: Hersey's Chris Cassidy earns Teacher Excellence Award

  • John Hersey High School chemistry teacher Chris Cassidy leading students through lab work.

    John Hersey High School chemistry teacher Chris Cassidy leading students through lab work. Courtesy of District 214

 
 
Updated 9/14/2021 10:50 AM

John Hersey High School teacher Chris Cassidy has been honored as this year's winner of the Teacher Excellence Award, issued annually by the Chicago section of the American Chemical Society.

Chicago section members created the honor in 2018, to "recognize, encourage and stimulate outstanding teachers of high school chemistry or a chemical science in the Chicago section."

 

The criteria fit Cassidy, who currently teaches Honors and Advanced Placement Chemistry. Cassidy said he always strives to make his classes authentic, engaging and appropriately rigorous.

"Our best days are the ones where students are making their own discoveries and connections through experimentation and discussion," he said. "I believe students thrive on challenge and are naturally curious, and also want to improve the world they are living in. They have been impressing me for over 20 years, and I am fortunate to be able to guide some of them through an important stage of their lives."

The award includes $1,000 and a framed certificate from the section, which will recognize Cassidy during its November meeting. Also planned is a recognition ceremony to be scheduled at Hersey.

"I am incredibly honored to be the recipient," Cassidy said. "The ACS is the standard-bearer of professional organizations in my field. Some of the other nominees are 'teacher heroes' of mine, and I am floored that I was selected out of this pool. This is a higher honor than I could have imagined.

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