Hun School of Princeton chemistry teacher, Emilie Gingras, won the 2017 Outstanding High School Chemistry Teacher Award from the Princeton and Trenton Sections of the American Chemical Society (ACS). Gingras, who started teaching at Hun in September 2016, will receive the award at a meeting of the Princeton ACS section at Princeton University on June 15.
“I was very surprised to win,” said Gingras, who has Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Chemistry from Universite Laval in her native Quebec, Canada. “I put a lot of effort into my work and it’s nice to be acknowledged, but what is most important is that that the students keep learning about chemistry and really like it.”
The award is “to recognize and encourage outstanding teachers of high school chemistry” in the Trenton and Princeton areas. Criteria includes high quality teaching, the ability to challenge and inspire students, the pursuit of professional development, and showing leadership in the profession.
“Emilie teaches her students not only the importance of mastering scientific reading, writing, and logical reasoning skills, but also the ability to chart their own progress as thinkers, gaining self-confidence and self-esteem in the process,” said Hun Science Department Chair Jacqueline O’Gorman. “Her students’ success rate in the class is exemplary.”
Gingras teaches several sections of chemistry and supervises Hun’s STEM and Science Olympiad Clubs. Before coming to the United States, Gingras taught at the university level, and worked for a chemical instruments and supply company, Corporation Scientifique Claisse, in Quebec. Gingras’s husband, Pierre-Luc, is a senior research chemist at a Princeton-area company. They have two children.
“I like to make students think, make them ask why; I am not giving them answers,” said Gingras. “What I like most about teaching is the spark I see in their eyes when, after many attempts, they understand a concept, or figure out the solution to a problem. I like the look of accomplishment in their eyes.”