AACT Member Spotlight: Matt Perekupka

By AACT on February 1, 2019

Matt perekupkaEvery month AACT will spotlight a passionate member who is dedicated to enhancing chemistry inside and outside the classroom. This month we spotlight Matt Perekupka from Cinnaminson High School, Cinnaminson, NJ.

"I have been teaching at Cinnaminson High School in New Jersey for the past 14 years. During my time at Cinnaminson I have taught all levels of chemistry from on-level basic chemistry to AP Chemistry. I have also taught environmental science and just this year I started a new Intro to Robotics course. I am currently the varsity girls tennis coach. I have also coached football, baseball, softball, and lacrosse during my years at CHS but scaled back my coaching duties since the birth of my daughter, Lexi, three years ago. I am also the student council advisor and help student government officers plans fundraisers, school events, and trips."

What rewards do you get from teaching?

I love hearing success stories from previous students. Even if I played the smallest of roles in their journey to success I am proud and happy to have made a positive impact on the lives of my students. I hope I serve as a good role model for my students.

What fuels your passion for science and teaching?

Teaching keeps you young. I love teaching because I love learning and problem solving. Learning and problem solving are everyday parts of being an effective teacher and scientist. It is important to never stop learning, it keeps you going.

In three words, what would your students say they learned from you?

Believe in yourself.

What is your approach to build a meaningful relationship with your students and their parents?

I think any meaningful relationship must be built upon trust. I hope my students and their parents trust that I have their best interest at heart and will work hard to help them succeed. I understand every one of my students has a different story and goes home to a different environment. Understanding, accepting, and embracing the diversity in your classroom is critical to developing a strong rapport with your student and their parents.

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

I initial joined AACT to have access to the resources on the website. I have stayed a member of AACT because of the tremendous network of excellent teachers I am now part of because of the AACT. I have had the pleasure of working with and meeting so many great teachers through the AACT summits, discussion board, and website. I believe sharing ideas is critical to progress and the AACT allows us chemistry teachers a means to accomplish that.