Streamwood High skilled trades teacher wins top award
Matt Erbach, a precision manufacturing teacher at Streamwood High School, won second place in the 2018 Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence, earning him and his school's skilled trades program $50,000 as part of $1 million awarded nationally.
Erbach was one of 15 national second-place winners announced in the 2018 Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence program and the only educator from Illinois. Representatives from Harbor Freight joined Streamwood High Principal Michele Chapman and School District U-46 officials at Streamwood High School to surprise Erbach with the award.
The award from Harbor Freight Tools for Schools includes a $35,000 donation to Streamwood High and a $15,000 award to Erbach, who was a semifinalist in the 2017 contest. Harbor Freight Tools for Schools also gave the high school a "trophy cart," a tool cart with a plaque to commemorate Erbach's achievement.
Erbach has been a teacher in U-46 for more than 10 years, and he taught at three other U-46 high schools -- Bartlett, Elgin and Larkin -- before joining the Streamwood faculty. He had his first exposure to precision manufacturing while working at a Barrington company before he earned a degree in education from Northern Illinois University. In 2014, Erbach was awarded a master's degree in workforce development from Southern Illinois University.
• Tish Rudnicki is leaving Elk Grove-based Kenneth Young Center after 28 years of service to take the position of executive director at the North Shore Senior Center.
Rudnicki, who has served as Kenneth Young Center's chief program officer for the past two years, has been and integral part of Kenneth Young Center's growth and development.
• Schaumburg-based Lavelle Law has added attorney Brian Massimino to its litigation practice group. Massimino will be working primarily out of the firm's Chicago office.
Prior to joining Lavelle Law, Massimino spent eight years running his own firm, which specialized in helping clients in the hospitality, food and beverage, wholesale, real estate and construction industries.
In addition to working in the courtroom with clients, Massimino is an adjunct faculty member at Roosevelt University, teaching a class in hospitality law.
• Jessica Pearce of Lake Barrington, formerly of Schaumburg, has earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in horn performance and literature from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
A graduate of Schaumburg High School, Pearce received a bachelor's degree from Illinois Wesleyan University and a master's degree in French horn performance from the University of Michigan.
Pearce was honored as the top music student at Schaumburg High School and won the top award in the College of Fine Arts at Illinois Wesleyan University. During her career, she has been the principal horn of the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic Orchestra, assistant principal of the Illinois Symphony Orchestra and guest principal of the Peoria Symphony Orchestra.
Before working on her doctorate, Pearce was the horn instructor at the Metropolis School of the Performing Arts in Arlington Heights and at Lake Zurich School District 95. She is currently adjunct instructor of French horn at both Eastern Illinois University, Charleston and Illinois Wesleyan University, Bloomington.
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