Greater Houston Section


Excellence in High School Chemistry Teaching


John Jamerlan, Strake Jesuit

Award Criteria

Purpose: To provide recognition for meritorious performance in the teaching of chemistry in a high school in the Greater Houston area.

Nature: The award consists of a plaque and an Honorarium.

Establishment and Support: The Section’s high school teaching award was previously named the Aczel Award to honor the memory of Dr. Thomas Aczel, a former Chair of the Section who had a particular interest in the subject. It was initially funded by contributions made by friends and colleagues in his memory. It is now supported directly by the Section and was renamed to the Excellence in High School Chemistry Teaching Award.

Rules of Eligibility: The nominee must be actively engaged in the teaching of chemistry or a chemical science in a high school (grades 9-12) in the Greater Houston area. The nomination should clearly demonstrate as many of the following attributes as possible:

  • The quality of the nominee’s teaching; unusually effective methods of presentation should be emphasized;
  • The nominee’s ability to challenge and inspire students;
  • Extracurricular work in chemistry or a chemical science by the nominee, including science fairs, science clubs, and activities that stimulate the interest of young people in chemistry and related sciences;
  • A willingness to keep up-to-date in the field, as evidenced by the pursuit of a higher degree in chemistry or a chemical science, enrollment in refresher courses and summer institutes, regular attendance at scientific meetings, membership in professional organizations, AP certification, and other means of self-improvement (since some members of the evaluating committee may not be directly involved in education, it would be helpful to explain the significance of any courses, institutions etc. where this is not obvious.).
  • Service to the discipline of education (i.e., mentorship, contributing to the professional development of colleagues, and administration).

Required Nomination Components:

  • A primary nomination letter of not more than 1,000 words.
  • A curriculum vitae or resume that includes a list of the nominee’s honors, professional activities, and additional evidence of service to the profession.  This must be limited to no more than two pages and the activities listed must have occurred within the past five years.
  • 1-3 letters of support, one of which must be from the teacher’s current principal or supervisor.  Additional letters of support may be sent by colleagues, students and parents of students who are familiar with the nominee’s achievements.


Weight (%)

Evidence of effective teaching


Evidence of inspiring and challenging students


Evidence of extracurricular work within the last five years


Evidence of self-improvement in profession within the last five years


Evidence of active involvement in profession within the last five years


Evidence of service to the discipline (mentorship)


Please direct all inquiries and submit all nomination packets by May 1, 2024 to .

Past Award Winners

2022 - Cindy Welch, Kingwood High School

2021 - Alicia Doffing, Memorial High School

2020 - Jennifer Notz, Jordan High School

2019 - Jamie Flint, Spring Woods High School

2018 - Lindsey Wilson, Austin High School

2017 - Theresa Delong, The Woodlands Park High School

2016 - Carolyn Ericson, Clements High School

2015 - Christy Rajadurai, Carnegie Vanguard High School

2014 - Usha Devathosh, Jeff Davis High School

2013 - Dr. Sarwat Jafry, St. John's School

2012 - Stephanie Raney, Jersey Village High School

2011 - Sarah Castillo, North Shore High School

2010 - Lynn Millikan, St Thomas Episcopal School

2009 - Doris Hamilton, Seven Lakes High School

2008 - Jennifer Kuhl, St. John's School

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