Pacelli’s Krusa awarded Chemistry Teacher of the Year Award
Pacelli Catholic High School teacher Joyce Krusa was recently awarded the Chemistry Teacher of the Year Award by the Central Wisconsin Section of the American Chemical Society, a regional group of chemistry educators and professionals covering the central and northcentral Wisconsin region.
“This year, (the) ACS-Central Wisconsin Chapter has chosen … an outstanding high school chemistry teacher that (is) deserving of special recognition,” said Gary Shulfer, chair of ACS-Central Wisconsin Chapter and University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point chemistry professor.
Devoting more than 15 years of her professional life to science education, Krusa possesses great leadership and has developed strong relationships with her students. As a result, more than 30 percent of her students pursue undergraduate degrees in science-related fields.
Krusa has taken on a big role in developing STEM (Science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and Project Lead the Way (PLTW) curriculum at Pacelli implementing both engineering and biomedical engineering tracks. She works to create learning opportunities for students that are rigorous and relevant.
Currently, one of her students is finishing a two-year STEM capstone internship with a local manufacturer, one of very few internships of this type for high school students in the state of Wisconsin.
“I was nominated by a former student,” said Krusa. “The idea that a student of mine thought this much to nominate me is very humbling.”
PCHS principal Larry Theiss also submitted a recommendation letter on Krusa’s behalf.
“She constantly strives to create projects and lessons that draw they students into the learning making it fun, engaging, and interesting,” said Theiss in his letter. “She challenges them to expand their understanding in order to help them achieve higher levels of understanding and critical thinking.”
Krusa was honored at the annual ACS-Central Wisconsin Chapter awards banquet on May 11 at Draganetti’s Ristorante in Eau Claire.
“For my peers to recognize me for this award is one of the highlights of my teaching career,” said Krusa.