Our Story

Our History

In 2009, the American Chemical Society (ACS) set out to answer the question “What can the world’s largest scientific society uniquely do to transform science education in the United States?"

After research, review, and feedback from the chemical education community, the answer was clear: create a national organization dedicated solely to supporting K–12 teachers of chemistry. That very idea came alive in September 2013 at the ACS national meeting in Indianapolis, IN.

Over the past year, an advisory board comprising secondary chemistry teachers, professors, industry experts, and ACS leaders have worked together with ACS staff and resources to shape the programming and direction of what you know as AACT.

AACT is founded on the guiding principal that we are creating a community by and for teachers of chemistry. The AACT website is a professional home through which the K–12 chemistry teaching community has access to customized resources and support—from staff and most importantly, from colleagues and peers.

Our Future

As the landscape of chemical education changes and new challenges arise, AACT will help teachers navigate their path to success by offering new curriculum to implement in the classroom, vetting chemistry teaching resources, and providing professional development opportunities that address current topics.

We are proud to be the first national chemistry association for K–12 teachers and hope you’ll join us in building a lasting community for and by passionate educators.

Our Staff

AACT has five full-time, dedicated employees and the talent of several collaborators working together to bring you the best resources and support possible. Our core team includes Adam M. Boyd, Fatema Gharzai, Jenn Parsons, Kim Duncan, Kira Washington, and Monica Wixon. Collectively we have eleven degrees, fifteen siblings, six Netflix accounts, and hundreds of books.

  • Adam M. Boyd, Program Director

    Adam brings more than 13 years of experience working for the American Chemical Society in the Education Division. He holds a B.A. in Chemistry and English from St. Mary’s College of Maryland and an M.B.A. from Georgetown University. You’re most likely to find him listening to Ben Folds in his spare time.

  • Fatema Gharzai, Strategic Account Manager

    Fatema joins AACT with more than 10 years of experience working in the nonprofit world. She holds a B.A. in Communications from the State University of New York. Fatema enjoys testing new recipes, listening to music and relaxing with her family.

  • Jenn Parsons, Education Resource Specialist

    Jenn left the chemistry classroom to join AACT as our team’s content and resource expert. She brings with her 9 years of teaching experience and tons of new ideas. She holds a B.S. in Forensic Chemistry and an M.T. in Secondary Science Education from Virginia Commonwealth University. When she’s not working, find her on the soccer field coaching, playing, or cheering on her favorite team—Manchester United.

  • Kim Duncan, Sr. Professional Learning Associate

    Kim began her career as a chemical engineer for the federal government and joins AACT after 12 years of teaching high school chemistry and physics. She holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology, and an M.S. in Secondary Education from Marymount University. If there’s a fun event happening in DC, you can bet she’s on her way to it!

  • Kira Washington, Sr. Web Associate

    Kira is a native Washingtonian with experience in web design and development, training, and user-experience. She holds a B.A. in Political Science from Saint Paul's College, later earning her Web Design and Development certificate from Georgetown University. Kira admits she's seen the TV show Frasier more than 50 times, and counting.

  • Monica Wixon, Science Coaches Project Manager

    Monica was a high school chemistry teacher for 6 years before joining the AACT team as the Science Coaches Project Manager. She holds a B.A. in Chemistry and Music from St. Mary’s College of Maryland and an M.Ed. in Secondary Science Education from the University of Maryland. Monica spends her free time singing in choirs, reading anything she can get her hands on (especially Harry Potter), and re-watching Parks and Recreation.

Inaugural AACT Governing Board

Barbara Sitzman | President Rebecca Field | Elementary School Ambassador
Scott Hawkins | President-Elect Diane Krone | SOCED Representative
Sally Mitchell | Special Consultant
Roxie Allen | DivCHED Representative
Regis Goode | Committee Representative
Emily Bones | Chemistry Solutions Editor
Adrian Dingle | High School Ambassador Adam M. Boyd | AACT Staff Representative
Sarah Paquette | Middle School Ambassador

Meet the current AACT Governing Board

Special Thanks

AACT would not be possible without the many dedicated individuals who have been instrumental in making this association a reality. Special thanks to:

The AACT Advisory Board | Roxie Allen, Shelly Belleau, George M. Bodner, Regis Goode, Katie Hunt, Andy Jorgensen, Tom Lane, Jessica Levine, Stephen Radice, Barbara Sitzman, Laura Slocum, and Don Wink.

Special thanks also to Sue Nurrenbern, SOCED, DivCHED, and the ACS Education Division. We'd also like to thank the entire ACS staff for their teamwork and support—especially Songul Ozdemir and the web content management team.