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Honoring Exceptionally Impactful High School Teachers

Class of 2016 urged to submit nominations for Distinguished Secondary Teaching Award

  • Recipients and schools to each receive $2,500, be honored at Commencement
  • Students encourage to nominate educators who “lit a spark within them”
  • Former honorees say “having someone feel that way about what I am doing in my class is amazing”

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Members of Northwestern University’s Class of 2016 are urged to recognize high school teachers who have made a big difference in their lives by nominating them for the University’s sixth annual Distinguished Secondary Teacher Award (DSTA). The deadline for nominations is Dec. 1. 

Four educators ultimately will receive the honor and $2,500 to each of them and each of their schools. The winners and their nominators will also be recognized during Northwestern’s 2016 Commencement in June.

“This award, co-sponsored by the Associated Student Government and the Office of the President, recognizes the transforming power of teachers in our lives and our communities,” President Morton Schapiro told graduating seniors. “Please think about a high school teacher who made a difference in your life and take a few minutes to nominate that person for this wonderful award.”

A selection committee chaired by Eugene Lowe, assistant to the president and senior lecturer in religious studies, and ASG President Noah Star will review nominations and request teaching portfolios from those teachers who are finalists.

“To people who aren’t familiar with the program, I’d really challenge them to think about who lit a spark within them,” said Calla Jordan, a 2015 graduate of Northwestern’s School of Education and Social Policy and a former member of the DSTA committee. 

Past recipients of the award attest to how incredibly special the honor is.

“I have teachers that I remember to this day. You remember every detail about the class and what you learned.” said Wesley Kirpach, a biology teacher at Plano (Texas) West High School and a 2015 recipient of the award. “To have someone feel that way about what I’ve done in my class is amazing.”

“To be able to see our students growing and blossoming into these amazing human beings who are leading the world to a better place is really a blessing,” said Elizabeth Bennett, an orchestra teacher at Buffalo Grove (Illinois) High School and another 2015 recipient of the DSTA. 

More information on the DSTA is available on the award’s website.

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