Dr. Brian Corbett Recognized for Excellence in High School Teaching
Dr. Brian Corbett, a science teacher at Southside High Academy, has earned the Southeast Region Award for Excellence in High School Teaching from the American Chemical Society. He will receive the award at a dinner in Atlanta on November 14.
Dr. Corbett has taught at Southside High Academy since 2008 and has served as Science Chair since 2010. As the Honors, AP and IB Chemistry instructor, Dr. Corbett has developed an outstanding chemistry curriculum, including a unique, year-long organic/analytical chemistry course offered annually that meets before school.
“I believe in teaching with enthusiasm,” said Dr. Corbett. “Teaching chemistry involves asking students to take a leap of faith, of sorts, especially when they learn conceptual theories such as atomic structure. A teacher’s enthusiasm to teach will lead to an enthusiasm to learn,” he said.
His students are actively engaged in his classes, stating, “His classroom is a challenging one; he pushes us to constantly exceed our expectations, to do better, and to grow and mature as people. Many of us who would usually rather flee from chemistry enjoy these classes because Dr. Corbett is so engaged in making sure we learn.”
Beyond his commitment in the classroom, Dr. Corbett provides regular after-school help sessions for his students, serves on both the Faculty and School Improvement Councils, and leads teacher workshops on the use of computer simulations and technology. In order to bolster the lab experiences of his students, he has solicited and received equipment grants from various agencies.
Dr. Corbett participates as a member of the National Science Teachers Association, STEM Education Coalition, and South Carolina Junior Academy of Sciences, where several of his students have received statewide recognition for their research efforts. Under his direction, the Southside Academic Team recently placed first in South Carolina in the Chemistry Division in the annual Science Bowl event.
Dr. Corbett serves as the Head Coach of the Academic Team, Faculty Advisor to the Creative Writing Club, and Faculty Advisor for the Creativity, Action and Service (CAS) component of the Southside’s IB Diploma Program.
As Principal Carlos Brooks sums up, “I believe his greatest attribute is his ability to self-reflect on the daily choices he makes. In many cases, before the administrative staff can make a request, Dr. Corbett is working on solutions to improve teaching and learning in his department.”
Dr. Corbett holds a doctoral degree in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Rhode Island.