April 26, 2019

Teresa Heinrich honored by the American Chemical Society

Teresa Heinrich is not big on awards, but she got a big one nonetheless Wednesday night, April 24, when the Badin High School teacher was named a Greater Cincinnati High School Chemistry Teacher of the Year by the Cincinnati Local Section of the American Chemical Society.

“I teach because I love teaching and working with high school students,” said Heinrich, who has been teaching chemistry at Badin since 1980, “but it is an honor to be recognized. And to be recognized by a chemistry group makes it that much more meaningful.”

Heinrich was one of a number of teachers and students honored at the event, which was held in the Student Union at Northern Kentucky University in Highland Heights. She shared the High School Teacher of the Year award with Margaret Stone of Sycamore High in Cincinnati. Stone is retiring.

Asked about the lure of chemistry, Heinrich called it “the fundamental science. What in the world isn’t chemistry? You can’t show me anything that we can’t talk about the chemistry involved in it. That’s the beauty of it.”

Heinrich, a graduate of Julienne High School in Dayton and the University of Dayton, has been teaching for 44 years. She was at Alter High School in Kettering for five years before joining the Badin faculty.

“I really enjoy the interaction with students,” she said. “You just can’t teach what the book says – you’ve got to go beyond the book. The students need to understand the connection of chemistry to their world. If it’s not real to them, it doesn’t mean anything.”

Heinrich is also well known for her outreach to the elementary schools to help show younger students the value of science. She has organized a Science Carnival for fifth graders at Badin for the past decade, has an annual Summer Science Camp, recently had her students create science kits to share with various elementary schools, and helped direct a monthly after-school science program for elementary students for many years.

“I like the opportunity to get elementary school students excited about science before they even get to high school,” Heinrich said. “I had a better appreciation of chemistry once I got to college. Now I want to get students connected to it sooner. I like to see their faces when something clicks.”

Heinrich was a previous finalist for the Educator of the Year Award through the Hamilton Community Foundation and in 2012 was named an Outstanding Educator by the University of Chicago based on a nomination by a Badin graduate.

Ten years ago, she was asked by a group of rising seniors to add a Chemistry II class to the Badin curriculum. She did so -- and to no one’s surprise, based on Heinrich’s teaching skills, it has filled every year since. It’s why when people find out that Heinrich was originally a History major when she started at UD, they’re glad she quickly found her way into Chemistry.

Heinrich and her husband, Jim, live in Fairfield and are the parents of two sons.

Contact: Dirk Q. Allen, (513) 863-3993, ext. 120; Dallen@BadinHS.org

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