Lauded for his creativity in the classroom and for engaging students with real-life experiences, Schaumburg High School English teacher Brian Curtin has been named 2013 Illinois Teacher of the Year.
Curtin, who teaches ninth to 12 grade at the Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211 school, was named by the Illinois State Board of Education and was chosen from nine finalists.
Curtin's selection was announced during the 38th annual Those Who Excel/Illinois Teacher of the Year banquet Saturday night in Bloomington.
"Great teaching is about making a connection with students and Brian Curtin makes those important connections every day," said State Superintendent Christopher A. Koch in a news release. "Brian is one of those inspirational teachers who makes creative and engaging lesson plans look easy and leads through example and self-discipline."
In his tenth year of teaching, Curtin was recognized by colleagues, parents and students for his innovation, enthusiasm for learning and his encouragement of students.
At the school, Curtin serves as the teaching chair of Saxon Pride, a group of faculty members who meet to address school culture and behavior issues. Using the Positive Behavior Intervention System, Curtin was instrumental in developing a series of popular commercials starring students. The commercials are designed to reinforce the program's goals of exemplifying positive behaviors rather than merely reacting to negative behavior.
"In Brian Curtin's classrooms, students make personal connections to learning because Brian Curtin is a teacher that takes great care in the creation and implementation of his lessons that draw on real-life experiences. His creativity, innovation and energy are boundless," wrote Schaumburg High School Principal Timothy Jay Little in his nomination letter.