Teachers of the Week
- School: Addams Elementary School
- Teaches: Special Education
- Favorite Player: Gale Sayers
“Special education teacher Alice Szczur has been passionately teaching for nearly 25 years. A former Jane Addams student herself, she returned to the school in order to give back to her community, which does through educating our children,” said Melissa Ramirez, a school district colleague. “While Mrs. Szczur has the credentials to teach any grade level, she chooses to teach the children who need her most and is a tireless advocate for them. She forges a special connection with her students, who do not always easily connect with others. Mrs. Szczur’s gift is her ability to make her children believe in themselves. In her 25 years of teaching, she has truly changed thousands of lives.” Ramirez nominated Szczur for the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom® award.
- School: Gavin South Middle School
- Teaches: 5-8th Grade: Science
- Favorite Player: Jordan Howard
“Naomi Willman makes learning science fun! Whether it is dropping eggs off the school rooftop, racing homemade cars down the hallways for physics lessons, or making solar ovens out of pizza boxes, her lessons bring the curriculum to life in exciting ways. Her love of science is evident in everything she does; she can take anything and connect it to science in an interesting, memorable way,” said Stephanie Kaye, a teaching colleague. “Mrs. Willman always considers her students first. She takes the time to conduct lots of hands-on science labs that could easily have been simple paper and pencil assignments. Her creativity is also apparent with engaging assignments like ‘break outs’ and ‘escape rooms.’ In addition to the science curriculum, Mrs. Willman teaches respect. She does so in a serious but engaging way—by relating to students, sharing personal stories, or taking time out of class to just talk. Importantly, Mrs. Willman leads by example and does everything she can to make each student feel safe and welcomed in her classroom.” Kaye nominated Willman for the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom® award.