Buffalo Grove's Elizabeth Bennett named a Teacher of Year

  • Elizabeth Bennett, recipient of Northwestern University's fifth annual Distinguished Secondary Teacher Award.

    Elizabeth Bennett, recipient of Northwestern University's fifth annual Distinguished Secondary Teacher Award. Courtesy of District 214

 
Submitted by District 214
Posted6/4/2015 6:00 AM

Elizabeth Bennett, director of orchestras at Buffalo Grove High School, is one of five high school educators throughout the nation to receive Northwestern University's fifth annual Distinguished Secondary Teacher Award.

The award recognizes high school teachers who have touched the lives of their former students, now graduating Northwestern seniors. The prestigious tribute carries an honorarium of $2,500 for each teacher and the same amount for their respective schools.

 

"This is an incredible honor for her and certainly speaks to the impact she has had on students' lives through her teaching," said Sandra Beguin, the school's English/Fine Arts division head.

The awards are co-sponsored by NU's Associated Student Government and the Office of the President. The committee reviews student essay nominations and teacher portfolios, which describe the nominees' teaching philosophies and include letters of recommendation. Finalists are then interviewed by the selection committee.

Bennett, the only Illinois award winner for 2015, was nominated by Buffalo Grove alumna Samantha Bulmash. "(Ms. Bennett) has become 'Mom' to hundreds of students. It takes an exceptional type of person to earn such an affectionate nickname from angsty teenagers, and she earned it without even realizing it," Bulmash said.

Bennett has taught at Buffalo Grove for seven years and was the recipient of the 2008 Illinois Emerging Teacher Leader Award and the 2014 recipient of the University of Chicago's Educator of the Year Award.

"It is truly an honor to be receiving this award, and it has particular sentimental value as it hails from my alma mater," said Bennett, who graduated from Northwestern University. "I share this honor with all of my students -- past, present, and future -- as it is because of them that I am able to do what I love each day."

• Submit 'Your News' at www.dailyherald.com/share.