Reacting to a New AP Chemistry Teacher

Kari Kelly is introduced as the new AP Chemistry instructor for the 2015-2016 school year

by Isabel Evangelista (Staff Writer) – 2/24/15

Kari Kelly is introduced as the new AP Chemistry instructor for the 2015-2016 school year
                                          Kari Kelly is introduced as the new AP Chemistry instructor for the 2015-2016 school year

Introducing new methods such as utilizing zero and first period as well as some Saturdays to better prepare students for chemistry in college, Kennedy honors and general chemistry teacher Kari Kelly has been assigned to teach advanced placement chemistry at school for the upcoming 2015-2016 school year.

During the 2014-2015 school year, AP Chemistry was unable to be provided due to the incapability of gathering enough students to fill up the course when it was taught by Kennedy chemistry teacher Sahar Rizk. It was unknown when AP Chemistry would be brought back if no students had any interest in taking it, that was, until it was announced in the beginning of spring semester that they were bringing it back next school year with a different teacher.

Kelly has been teaching at John F. Kennedy High School for 14 years, starting in 2001. Many students have wanted Kelly to teach AP Chemistry, but it wasn’t up until now that it has been established. “I signed up to teach AP Chemistry later on in the distant future, but I didn’t know I would officially begin teaching it until they announced it on the PA in the morning,” Kelly recalls.

She has been highly acclaimed by past students for her second semester final, which involves the identification of two to three unknown elements in a given substance. Many past students recall it as one of the “hardest, yet most fun finals” they’ve ever had to take.

Kelly plans to have her labs throughout the year be much like the final she requires her students to take, some of them expected to be “harder than the final” and require being finished off on Saturdays to prevent anything from going wrong over the weekend. “There will be 14 labs that we’ll be doing next year. We’ll get to use some new advanced equipment which should be fun,” Kelly explains.

Most of what she plans on teaching is already up on her website, www.tinyurl.com/jfkchemistry, which includes a course overview, expectations that are needed, and links to extra help in the future for topics that will be covered. She plans to hold her class in a two period block, using zero and first period, and have at least one Saturday a month dedicated to finishing off labs that must be done in a consecutive time frame. Kelly hopes that many of the students signing up know what they’re dedicating themselves to, and she wants to give them a head’s up before their classes for next year are established.

Kennedy sophomore and current honors chemistry student Neiman Dela Fuente is one of those students who are willing to pass Kelly’s AP course. “Ms. Kelly is a teacher who’s very fun, easy, and teaches well. I have a lot of 11th grade friends who’ve taken her final, and since I haven’t taken it yet, it makes me a little worried. I’m prepared to sacrifice my free time next year for her AP class because I find chemistry very fun.”

With a different teacher instructing what is said to be the most difficult AP class a student can take, many anticipate that Kelly’s course will successfully provide as much information as possible in order to pass the AP test.