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  • Natalie Saia and Tony Leva team up to teach seventh-grade language arts at Walter Sundling Junior High in Palatine.

    Teachers bring teamwork to Palatine classroomJun 9, 2014 12:00 AM
    Natalie Saia and Tony Leva started teaching together this school year, creating a collaborative classroom for students with special needs and ones without them. That atmosphere springs from their own example. Two teachers who treat each other as equals. Two teachers who learn from each other. “Words can't describe how awesome these teachers are,” said Brandyn Manzek, 12.

  • Falguni Soni is a chemistry and robotics teacher at Rosary High School in Aurora. “From childhood I wanted to be a teacher. I think that it is my thing,” Soni says.

    Rosary teacher Falguni Soni has a passion for scienceMay 12, 2014 12:00 AM
    Rosary High School teacher Falguni Soni is passionate about getting girls to consider a career in science. "I see my role not only as a teacher and a coach but also as a role model in the field of science," she says.

  • New contract gives Dist. 207 teachers merit payMay 6, 2014 12:00 AM
    Maine Township High School District 207 teachers who earn “excellent” ratings on annual evaluations will be eligible for $1,250 merit stipends, under terms of a five-year contract extension approved this week. District 207 is believed to be one of the few school districts in Illinois to include merit stipends in a teachers contract, officials said.

  • David Hain, orchestra and choir director at Streamwood High School, has a knack for finding the hidden musical talent in his students. He is the Daily Herald's top teacher of the month.

    Streamwood High music teacher finds students' inner talent Feb 7, 2014 12:00 AM
    David Hain's colorful personality exudes an energy that resonates with his students. A Golden Apple Award finalist, Hain teaches guitar theory, music theory, choir and orchestra at Streamwood High School. He has a knack for bringing out the singer/musician in everyone, students say.

  • Will Hogan, a physical education teacher at the Ridge Family Center for Learning in Elk Grove Township Elementary District 59, is being recognized by the Daily Herald as one of “The Suburbs' Top Teachers.”

    Elk Grove P.E. teacher helps make school healthy Dec 9, 2013 12:00 AM
    Colleagues of Will Hogan at the Ridge Family Center for Learning in Elk Grove Village say more kids are choosing healthy lifestyles thanks to him. The P.E. teacher is the driving force behind the school's efforts to promote daily physical fitness and nutritional awareness — efforts that have been recognized nationally by first lady Michelle Obama and others.

  •  “We want to teach (students) skills about reasoning, persevering and making mistakes and learning from them. Those are skills that kids will use forever,” says Tina King, a teacher at Wredling Middle School in St. Charles.

    St. Charles teacher wants collaborative effort in math Nov 22, 2013 12:00 AM
    Tina King is a sixth grade teacher at Wredling Middle School in St. Charles Unit District 303 who takes the fear out of math by focusing on life skills, not just fractions.

  •  Schaumburg High School band director Kevin Miller stands on the front steps of the school with Kyle Bicchi, left, and Robert Bach as the marching band performs on his last first day of school.

    Schaumburg band director enters ‘senior year’ Aug 24, 2013 12:00 AM
    Schaumburg High School Music Department Chair Kevin Miller has gotten into the habit of telling his senior band members they have work hard because it’s their last year. Now, his students are playing that card on him. Miller, who's retiring at the end of the school year, said what he enjoys most about teaching has remained the same over his 33-year career. “I’ve always loved the kids. It’s all about the kids," he said.

  • Karen Leinen is a special-education teacher at Dundee-Crown High School in Carpentersville. She recently finished her dissertation this summer for a doctorate in adolescent literacy.

    Dundee-Crown special education teacher stresses literacy Aug 12, 2013 12:00 AM
    Karen Leinen's 15 years moving up the corporate ladder with FedEx gave her plenty of leadership training and recognition, but “I found that no matter how much personal success I had achieved, there was something still missing. I was doing it all for me,” Leinen said. “None of it was in the service of others.” She now teaches special education at Dundee-Crown High School in Carpentersville.

  • Harper Grad Will Tackle Next Courses as Fellow in Germany May 15, 2013 12:00 AM
    After completing her Harper College associate degree this May, Stephanie Bemis will head to a yearlong fellowship in Germany on the prestigious Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals.

  • Tips from a great teacher May 13, 2013 12:00 AM
    Tips from a great teacher: Al Ochsner's advice

  • Al Ochsner, in the words of his students May 13, 2013 12:00 AM
    What students have to say about Al Ochsner

  • Geneva High School art teacher Al Ochsner works with his students last week. Ochsner believes art instruction improves real-life learning skills.

    Second career a serendipitous fit for Geneva art teacher May 13, 2013 12:00 AM
    Being a teacher wasn't Al Ochsner's initial career choice. He followed a dream, making a living as a professional artist. But in middle age, the single father of two needed some extra income and took a gig as a substitute teacher at Geneva High School. He fell in love with teaching. Now, at age 52, he is doing it full-time. "This is a job I look forward to coming to," he said. "This is a really cool place."

  • Lana Brozik is an English/Language Arts teacher at Eastview Middle School in Bartlett. She is a national board certified teacher and also mentors young teachers in the district while supporting those trying for national board certification.

    Bartlett teacher Lana Brozik calls herself a lifelong learner Feb 11, 2013 12:00 AM
    Lana Brozik is a master teacher, a model educator and a lifelong learner. She teaches students English and language arts at Eastview Middle School in Bartlett but reaches beyond her eighth-graders to improve the quality of education districtwide. A ripple effect from Brozik's mentorship means she will continue to affect student learning long after she retires at the end of this year.

  • Talk with the Editor: Help us identify great teachers Nov 9, 2012 12:00 AM
    In this Talk with the Editor, John Lampinen announces the Daily Herald's new tribute to The Suburbs Top Teachers and solicits recommendations to be emailed to Suburban schools are filled with dedicated teachers who inspire our children to greatness, Lampinen says, and the paper wants to highlight as many of them as it can.

  •  Curtin works with student Justyna Niechwiej during Freshman Honors English.

    Schaumburg Teacher of Year ready for challenge Nov 1, 2012 12:00 AM
    Schaumburg High School English teacher Brian Curtin calls it a humbling honor and credits it to the many educators, students, parents, and family members who have shaped him into the teacher he is today — but the 2012-2013 Illinois Teacher of the Year also believes the award is the beginning of a life-changing opportunity.

  •  Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel speaks during a news conference at Tarkington School of Excellence in Chicago, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012 as Vincent Iturralde, right, principal at at Tarkington listens. Negotiations continue on the second day of a strike in the nation’s third-largest school district, as the two sides continue to struggle to reach an agreement in a bitter contract dispute over evaluations and job security.

    Emanuel: Students must be in class during negotiations Sep 12, 2012 12:00 AM
    Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants contract negotiations with teachers to continue with students in class. He spoke to reporters Wednesday as teachers in the nation's third-largest school district picketed for the third day. A number of issues remain, including teacher evaluations. But the Chicago Teachers Union says they're far from an agreement.

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