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As a High School Chemistry teacher who started off in the industry of Chemistry, I have been able to acquire a dynamic skill set that I have been able to utilize in each profession. I learned my basic Chemistry skills from the University at Buffalo where I obtained a Bachelor's degree in Chemistry and performed undergraduate research in a Materials Chemistry laboratory under the guidance and tutoring of Dr Kenneth Takeuchi. I then went to the University of Illinois where I joined Dr Yi Lu's graduate research group in the Materials Chemistry division of the program, and obtained a Masters with a thesis on the development of ultrasensitive sensors using functional DNA, and amplification reaction, and Gold nanoparticles. After school I started out my journey in the Real-World of Chemistry learning about analytical testing processes and microbiological analyses on both raw and finished products as a Lead Lab technician in the quality control department of Chobani. I then took my talents to Cornell University where I became very much acquainted with the rules, regulations, and policies associated with working with hazardous materials while I worked there as a Hazardous Materials Chemist. I then moved to Pittsburgh and dove into a new World of Chemistry for me as I worked as a Chemist in the Microscopy division of a major paint company called PPG Industries. Realizing that I was too far from home and that I was missing something with my Chemistry way of life, I moved back to Upstate NY and found a job as an adjunct Chemistry instructor at the local colleges. I then started taking classes for educating adolescents, found a permanent position as a high school Chemistry teacher at the local charter school, and after a few years of graduate level courses I was able to obtain a NYS Initial Certification for teaching Chemistry to students grades 7-12.

I currently work at the Utica Academy of Science Charter School in Utica, NY as the Chemistry teacher to sophomores, juniors, and seniors. I was born and raised in Utica, NY, so to have the ability to be back in the city where I am from, teaching and putting forth my best effort to inspire and encourage the students from the same area that I am from, has been one of the greatest privileges of my life. The best part of being a HS Chemistry teacher though is the ability to create and structure my lessons, content material, and instruction in the way I see best. I will continue to learn how to best deliver the meaning of Chemistry and all of its wonders to my students, but something that I never considered as an upcoming Chemist in college was how I would be able to create and use my imagination to discover new ways to teach the different topics, skills, techniques, and content in the World of Chemistry. I spend countless hours developing, analyzing, and perfecting my materials and instructional delivery, not because it is required of me, but because I truly enjoy translating my understanding and cognitive awareness of the different topics in Chemistry into a visual representation of what this science means. I also really love making positive and enlightening connections with my students, and those connections have elevated my excitement exponentially in my career to develop more innovative content to help my students learn and understand the science of Chemistry at the highest level, and to simply ensure that my students have fun and enjoy the learning experience in my class.

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Darius’ Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: University at Buffalo - Bachelor in Arts, Chemistry

Graduate Degree: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Master of Science, Chemistry


I enjoy listening to music, building and creating things with different types of materials, including wood, steel, ceramics, etc., spending time with my 3 wild and crazy kids, and golfing!!!

Tutoring Subjects


Middle School Science



Test Prep

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