AACT Member Spotlight: Greta Glugoski-Sharp

By AACT on September 1, 2021

Greta Glugoski-Sharp

Every month AACT spotlights a passionate member who is dedicated to enhancing chemistry inside and outside the classroom. This month, we spotlight Greta Glugoski-Sharp. Greta is the current AACT President and Governing Board chair. She teaches chemistry at Regis Jesuit High School in Aurora, Colorado.

Tell us about yourself.

I was born and raised in San Francisco, California. I have a B.S. in Biochemistry and Spanish from the University of California at San Cruz and an M.Ed. in Chemistry from the University of San Francisco. While I started my career in research, I have been teaching chemistry for more than 18 years. In 2003, I moved to Denver to teach chemistry and AP chemistry at a local high school and general chemistry at a local university. I currently teach at Regis Jesuit High School in Aurora, Colorado.

Why did you become a teacher? Did you always want to teach?

I started my career in research, but I didn’t know I wanted to teach until I started volunteering with the University of California at San Cruz’s Health and Education Partnership program. I partnered with a high school science teacher to help bring science to life in their classroom by assisting with curriculum and inviting students into the lab. As I watched these students learn about chemistry, I realized that I was good at teaching and that’s what I wanted to pursue!

What are you most proud of in your work?

It’s important to me to create an environment where students can find value in science. It’s important to know and understand who your students are. If you’re enthusiastic, it will help create an environment where students can succeed. I aim to excite, challenge, and empower my students so they can be successful inside and outside my classroom.

Why did you become involved with AACT and what are the benefits of being involved?

Before AACT was established, I was a member of a state organization for chemistry teachers. I wanted to join AACT because I wanted to be a part of a larger community to learn from and share with others. I strongly believe in AACT’s purpose and its importance in continuing to be a means of support to teachers of chemistry.

My favorite benefit is the classroom resources! In particular, I like to use resources about influential scientists, such as Marie Curie. I also like to read about teacher members sharing their classroom strategies and attending the free Professional Development webinars.

What fuels your passion for science and teaching?

As a Latina, I understand the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the STEM field and the need to increase the number of underrepresented students’ interest in STEM.  I believe that experiences which can spark an interest in STEM are imperative and that careful lesson planning is needed to promote greater cultural responsiveness and improved STEM career expectations.

If you could pass on one word of wisdom to other chemists what would it be?

Teach students as you would want to be taught, with enthusiasm and a passion for the subject combined with respect and understanding for the student. Also, never quit learning!