Stapp Inspires- Teacher Highlight Chris Chou

Welcome to Stapp Inspires Teacher Highlight! Each month we will be highlighting a teacher, support staff or coach and the school they work at with in St. Vrain Valley Schools. These special people encourage and inspire their students and co-workers. We are proud to share their stories with you.

This month we visit Longmont High School. A few quick facts about LHS. LHS has been recognized 3 years in a row by US News and World Report as a “Best High School”. Enrollment has increased by 10% from the previous year. LHS is able to offer 20 AP classes and 11 classes for college credit.

We are stepping into Chris Chou’s AP Biology classroom this month. Ms. Chou has been teaching for 14 years, 12 of those have been at LHS. Ms. Chou has been instrumental in setting up and overseeing the school’s Medical and Biosciences Academy (MBSA).

 

The MBSA is designed for students who are interested in careers or secondary education in the health sciences. One of the classes students are required to take is AP Biology. Under Ms. Chou’s tutelage, all LHS students taking the Advanced Placement (AP) Biology exam scored a 3 or better, leaving the school with an average of 4.1. The national average for the AP Biology Exam is 2.83. It’s easy to see why Ms. Chou received  the 2016 Outstanding Biology Teacher Award.

We had a few questions for Ms. Chou about her passion for her students and preparing them for the next steps in their lives.

We asked her what her favorite thing about teaching at LHS was. This is what she had to say…

“I love teaching a diverse population of students who are involved in so many different activities both inside and outside of school. They have so many interesting backgrounds and interests. I also enjoy working with a passionate group of educators. The teachers at Longmont High really care about their students, work hard to improve their craft, and learners themselves. Many of them provide unique learning opportunities for students and model what it looks like to be learners themselves.”

We also wanted to find out what the most important thing she felt she could pass on to her students. She teaches primarily juniors and seniors, students who are about to embark on the next stage of life. This is what she feels is the most important lesson she can impart…

“I believe the most important lesson I can teach my students is how to think critically and make informed decisions. I teach mostly juniors and seniors who are soon to be graduation and going into the adult world. They will need to know how to sift through the abundance of information available to them through media and the internet, and it is  important that they know how to make informed decisions regarding their educational choices, finances, health, future careers, involvement in politics and public issues. But I think the lesson I hope students gain from being in one of my classes is how to treat others with kindness and respect and how to work well with other. I also want students to be curious, enjoy learning and be lifelong learners.”

Ms. Chou’s commitment and passion to her students in the MBSA program are well prepared to continue their secondary education in any field they choose. In fact 83.3% of MBSA graduates have gone to major in science or pre-health programs. 8.3% are studying pre-engineering and another 8.3% currently major in non-scientific course work.

Thank you Ms. Chou for making LHS a great space for students to learn and succeed. It’s teachers like you who are having a wonderful impact on our future.

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