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Holton-Arms teacher Xu Duan named 2012 Leo Schubert Memorial Award
Posted 10/26/2012 03:28PM

Holton-Arms Upper School chemistry teacher Xu Duan has been named the 2012 recipient of the Leo Schubert Memorial Award for the Outstanding Teaching of High School Chemistry, presented by the Chemical Society of Washington.

Xu Duan and the Holton-Arms Chemathon team

The Leo Schubert Memorial Award recognizes an outstanding teacher of high school chemistry in the Washington, D.C. area. The award was established in 1979 to honor Dr. Leo Schubert, a chemistry professor at American University who devoted much of his career to developing programs for high school teachers and students. The award is given to teachers who are accomplished in areas such as innovation in teaching, writing curricula, outside teaching, papers published, involvement in science fairs, and postgraduate study.

In class, Duan focuses on frequent, hands-on experience with inquiry-based and student-designed labs. So far this year, the AP and Honors Chemistry classes have already conducted a total of 16 labs. Duan has also taken an active role in setting the curriculum for this classes—writing the lab manual for Honors Chemistry and compiling this year’s AP Chemistry handouts. Upper School Pure & Applied Sciences Chair Patty Carver explained, “he strikes a wonderful balance between challenging and supporting his students so that every girl is inspired to achieve at a high level.”

Now in his second year teaching at Holton, Duan is an active champion of the Chemathon team and the participants in the U.S. National Chemistry Olympiad. The Chemathon is an annual chemistry competition hosted by the University of Maryland for high school students in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. This year, Holton will have two Chemathon teams competing at a total of 20 events at both Level I and Level II/AP. Held by the American Chemical Society, the U.S. National Chemistry Olympiad is an individual competition. Under Duan’s guidance, Nyrah Humayun ’14 advanced to the National Finals as one of the top 20 students from the Washington, D.C. area. 

“I am extremely humbled by this recognition,” said Duan. It is a “recognition of my previous and current students, as well as the embracing communities where I have worked, namely Queen Anne School and Holton-Arms School. It is really a labor of loving support from many.”

The Schubert Award will be presented at the annual Chemical Society of Washington awards dinner on Wednesday, December 12.

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