Deer Patch Middle School fifth and sixth graders got a lesson Friday about how big a deal it is to be named teacher of the year in the Chicago area by the Chicago Bears, Northern Illinois University and WBBM Radio.
Sixth grade science teacher Anna Burns was the instructor who was named best of the best in Chicagoland. She learned of the honor last month after being a weekly winner in the fall. She was originally nominated by Deer Path seventh grade student Paul O’Malley, a former pupil.
Earlier: Deer Path Faculty Member Becomes Teacher of the Year
The teacher for Friday’s lesson was Chicago Bear linebacker Nick Roach. He came to honor Burns and let the students know the value of education and quality teachers. Roach is a graduate of Northwestern University.
“It’s cool to be able to honor someone who gives so much back,” Roach said of the reason he was glad to be part of the one-hour assembly to honor Burns. “They (teachers) come to work every day to challenge their students to get to the next level.”
As Roach talked to the students and answered their questions, Burns sat quietly with her class not seeking attention or recognition. She appreciates the award but gives credit to the students and he colleagues.
“I’m lucky to work at a school where the students really want to learn and it’s full of good teachers,” Burns said. “It’s an honor to be nominated by a student, former or current,” she added referring to the way O’Malley started the process.
Deer Path Principal Tom Cardamone was not so shy when it came to talking about Burns. “She really loves what she doe and loves working with kids,” he said.
Roach got the loudest cheers and answered scores of question from the students about football, his personal life and his own schooling but it was Northern Illinois University Communications Director Brad Hoey who brought a prize that will benefit the entire Deer Path community.
Hoey came with a $5,000 check made out to Burns and Deer Path. Cardamone already knows what he would like to do with the money. “It will go to professional development for our teachers,” he said. It will pay tuition for continuing education for Deer Path teachers at Northern Illinois.
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