The 2022 American Chemical Society Division of Chemical Education (CHED) Northeast Region Award for Excellence in High School Teaching is awarded to Christopher M. Sgro, Highland High School, Highland, New York.
Since 2008 Mr. Christopher M. Sgro has served as the chemistry teacher at Highland HS in Highland, NY. He is an outstanding science educator who is well-liked by students, parents, colleagues, and the school administration. He has a thorough knowledge of chemistry that, combined with his excellent rapport with students, enables him to engage with students and teach chemistry in creative ways. Some of his most creative lessons involve having students generate work that demonstrates their learning. One such example is having students develop board and card games that demonstrate chemical principles. Another is Project STEAM, his final project in a college-level course where students produce art to demonstrate principles either figuratively or literally. This has yielded paintings, sculptures, photographs, videos, and other artistic media that play a prominent role in his future lessons. In addition to his creative approach to instruction, Mr. Sgro demonstrates the ability to inspire and engage his students. He is a firm believer in making chemistry accessible to all students while at the same time promoting rigor. He inspires students to persist through difficult coursework and has developed unique scaffolding techniques to help students foster metacognition. In addition, he challenges students to communicate their findings thoroughly with written lab reports that demonstrate student process.
In addition to his work in the classroom, Mr. Sgro has become part of the extracurricular culture at Highland HS. He has served as an advisor to the Science Olympiad team for six years, the Mock Trial team for five years, and Junior Class Advisor for three years. He currently serves as the Senior Class Advisor, a position he has held for the last ten years, as well as an announcer for the Varsity Football team for the past twelve years.
Outside of his high school teaching duties, Mr. Sgro has spent the past eight years enrolled in a Ph.D. program for Science Curriculum and Instruction part-time through the University of Albany. As part of his studies, he has become a published author in the STEM education field and is currently writing his dissertation, which investigates how students use chemistry in STEM lessons.
Mr. Sgro is a member of the ACS Mid-Hudson Local Section, previously serving as Member-At-Large for three years. He is also a member of the NSTA.
Here is his Biography