By Prabhvir Lakhan | Managing Editor
After three years of captivating labs, engaging lessons, and continuous support, Avon’s AP Chemistry teachers Mr. Matthew Payne and Mrs. Katie Kozinski were awarded AP Science Teachers of the Year from AP TIP-IN at the University of Notre Dame on Friday Nov. 2.
AP TIP-IN is a grant program that invests in teacher development and aims to produce better AP programs. According to AP TIP-IN, Avon’s passing rate is double the state average; however, Kozinski stresses that it’s important for students to understand that AP Chemistry takes a lot of work.
“For me, it’s when they finally understand that they can’t do all of it on their own, so they decide to put in that extra effort and come in before school or stay after school and meet with me regularly to be successful,” Kozinski said.
Payne echoes the same sentiment, as he stresses the importance of not getting D’s and F’s on the tests, and he expects everyone to work extremely hard.
“We had some students transfer in even after fall break and miss a full chunk of AP Chemistry, but they still did well. It was a struggle the whole year, but they passed the test,” Payne said. “It was cool to see that students can come in at the middle of the year and still fit in and do well.”
Payne and Kozinski began to teach AP Chemistry at Avon in 2016, and they have made a lot of changes to the AP Chemistry program.
“We’ve done lots of labs. Previously, I believe that there was a flipped classrooms. We don’t do that because we like talking to our students and delivering lessons with an audience,” Kozinski said.
Both teachers still believe that the AP Chemistry program can still improve by making the class more open dialogue and more hands-on.
“My goal is to continue making the AP Chemistry program as good as it can be in terms of [being] more hands-on and [doing] good labs. Doing chemistry is really important to me in addition to doing well on the AP Chemistry test,” Payne said.
Photo by Matthew Barton