Kristen Drury, a chemistry teacher at William Floyd High School, was recently selected as the inaugural recipient of the American Association of Chemistry Teachers (AACT) “Chemistry Teacher of the Year” award in the high school category. This award is designed to showcase the hard work and accomplishments of chemistry teachers and is bestowed upon one elementary teacher, one middle school teacher and one high school teacher from across the nation. As AACT Chemistry Teacher of the Year, she will receive a $1,000 prize and a free AACT membership renewal.
Ms. Drury, who teaches Advanced Placement chemistry, honors chemistry, Regents chemistry, general chemistry and forensics, continues to remain cutting edge in her work, which includes hosting webinars about flipped classrooms and implementing Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL), which is a student-centered, group-learning instructional strategy developed through research on how students learn best. She is a published author in the journal Chemistry Solutions, an online AACT periodical for K-12 chemistry teachers and has presented about the flipped classroom at the American Chemical Society “Teacher Day” in Washington D.C. in 2017. She also serves as a peer reviewer for Chemistry Solutions and the Journal of Chemical Education. She was also selected by College Board to serve as a reader for the AP chemistry exam in June 2017 and again this year in June 2018.
“I have been working with AACT for two years to help provide resources and ideas for chemistry teachers of all grades, K-12,” said Ms. Drury. “The experience has helped me grow as a professional and collaborate with chemistry teachers across the country. I am so excited to receive this award and to continue to work with AACT to share free webinars, articles and techniques with teachers. AACT provides an amazing outlet for teachers to build a community with the primary objective to support chemistry students in their pursuit of scientific discovery.”
Ms. Drury has been recognized several times for her work in the past including earning the Empire State Excellence in Teaching Award in 2016, as well as being named a Master Teacher in 2014, the first year of Governor Cuomo’s program recognizing New York’s best teachers. She was selected in the first round of recipients in that program, along with Christine Rosado, and is only one of 70 teachers on Long Island to have achieved this honor. William Floyd has five New York State Master Teachers. She earned her BA and MA in chemistry and education from Stony Brook University.