April 14, 2003
Sag Harbor High School Science Teacher Named "Teacher of the Year"
Dr. Robert W. Schumacher Hailed for His Enthusiasm and Sensitivity
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Dr. Robert W. Schumacher, a science teacher in Sag Harbor's Pierson High School, has been named the 2003 Suffolk County Teacher of the Year by Southampton College of Long Island University.
Schumacher will be honored on Sunday, May 18 at 2 p.m. at commencement ceremonies at Southampton College. He will receive a $500 honorarium and the school district will receive $1000 at a special 11 a.m. brunch for the College's honorees.
"Dr. Schumacher truly deserves this award," said Katherine Holden, Sag Harbor's Superintendent of Schools. "He is an energetic, intelligent, passionate teacher who excites and motivates all of his students."
After graduating from Southampton College with a B.S. in marine biology in 1987, Schumacher took to the shores of the Pacific Ocean to complete his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in organic chemistry at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He returned to Southampton College and earned the requirements for a secondary teaching certificate in 2000. He taught science courses at East Hampton High School before arriving at Pierson in 2002 where his tremendous enthusiasm, sensitivity, hard work and thorough knowledge of his academic content area were immediately recognized. "Whether he is conducting chemistry experiments in the classroom or hiking with students in Hawaii, he encourages his students to question, think and ultimately produce," said Holden. "He has a gift for constantly challenging his students and making sure that the challenge is fun as well as interesting. He is a gifted educator."
Along with teaching method of research classes, marine biology and Advanced Placement courses in chemistry, Schumacher serves as an adjunct professor at Southampton College, not only to continue his relationship with his alma mater, but also to keep current with advances in the sciences and to integrate college lab practices into his high school lessons. He established a science research club at Pierson, started a Saturday Research Enrichment Program in East Hampton and served as a judge for the Long Island Science Congress Competition. He has served as a mentor in the prestigious Intel Science Competition and has organized and led five highly successful science education trips to Hawaii. He recently had a paper, co-authored with Southampton College professor Arthur Goldberg and three high school students, accepted for publication in the Journal of Natural Products.
Schumacher has plans in the works for his next educational trip to Hawaii. His wife, Carol, who has accompanied him on his previous academic adventures may sit this next one out - they are expecting their first child in July.