St. Francis High School math teacher named "Outstanding Educator" by University of Chicago

  • Dr. Robert Bonvallet teaches advanced mathematics classes at St. Francis High School in Wheaton. He was named a 2021 Outstanding Educator by the University of Chicago.

    Dr. Robert Bonvallet teaches advanced mathematics classes at St. Francis High School in Wheaton. He was named a 2021 Outstanding Educator by the University of Chicago. Courtesy of Maureen Isphording, St. Francis High School

 
 
Updated 10/29/2021 10:54 PM

Dr. Robert Bonvallet, mathematics teacher at St. Francis High School in Wheaton, has been named an Outstanding Educator by the University of Chicago.

The award, which recognizes teachers who played a significant role in the lives of a newly admitted University of Chicago student's education, made a positive impact in their lives, and whose influence has brought them to where they are today.

 

Michael D'Orazio, a 2021 graduate of St. Francis High School, nominated Dr. Bonvallet, saying:

"Dr. Robert Bonvallet, or Dr. B, as students know him, is outstanding because of the enthusiasm and passion he demonstrates when teaching both Advanced Algebra and AP® Statistics. The examples and stories he shared, which were based on his years of work experience prior to teaching, enriched our classroom learning; we could see practical applications related to our math lessons. Dr. B was always accessible for help outside of the classroom and genuinely cared for his students.

For example, when studying for the AP® Stats exam, I completed the practice problems he provided and emailed him asking if he had additional ones. He responded immediately noting he had given our class all of the practice problems he had, but that he would try to track down more … and he did. My classmates and I knew Dr. B supported us and we looked forward to being entertained and intrigued by his creative and informative math classes. Dr. B truly stands out among high school teachers."

For more than 20 years, Dr. Bonvallet has taught Honors Advanced Placement Statistics and Honors Advanced Algebra/Trigonometry classes at St. Francis High School. In addition, he is a coach of the Math Team.

"Dr. Bonvallet embodies many of the qualities we seek for our faculty at St. Francis," said Raeann Huhn, principal. "He possesses a wealth of mathematics knowledge and has a tremendous gift for sharing his knowledge with our students. But more than that, he truly cares for our students."

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In its press release, the university stated, "the University of Chicago is honored to recognize excellence in teaching and sincerely congratulates this year's Outstanding Educator Award winners, who are exceptional in their field and role models for all students. The University deeply appreciates the lively minds who thirst for knowledge that these educators have nurtured and inspired. We thank them for going above and beyond the call of duty every day and leaving an impression that will be carried over a lifetime."

All award winners receive a commemorative award, certificate, and letter that includes details from the student they were nominated by.

Additional information regarding the University of Chicago Outstanding Educator can be found at collegeadmissions.uchicago.edu.

Founded in 1952, St. Francis High School is a Catholic, college preparatory learning community that promotes spiritual, academic, physical, and social development in the daily presence of Jesus Christ. It offers students 123 full-year and semester-long courses, including 19 honors and 17 AP courses.

For the graduating class of 2021, 100 percent of students attend college and they collectively earned $25 million in scholarships. The class also included one student with a perfect score on the ACT, five National Merit Commended students, and 37 Illinois State Scholars.

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