ISAAPT Outstanding High School Physics Teacher
Nominations
2014-2015

1. 
2. 
3. 
4. 
5. 
6. 
7. 
    Recent
   
            Nominated last year
1. David Baxter (21 years), Galesburg, Galesburg
2. Brian Bill (32 years), Eureka, Eureka
3. Regan Chatterton (6 years), West Prairie, Sciota
4. William (Wes) Cooley (9 years), Lincoln-Way North, Frankfort
5. Ann Gilman (10 years), Calhoun, Hardin
6. Walter Glogowski (18 years), Ridgewood, Norridge
7. Thomas Henderson (25 years), Glenbrook South, Glenview
         Nominated last year
8. Martin Kulak (15 years), James B. Conant, Hoffman Estates
9. Erik Malvik (6 years), Nokomis, Nokomis
10. Jack Marino (27 years), Maine South, Park Ridge
11. Michael Marchizza (8+31 years), Edinburg, Edinburg
12. ** David Schultz (12 years), Maine East, Park Ridge
13. Denise Stephanides (18 years), Westmont, Westmont
14. Christian Wimber (4 years), Somonauk, Somonauk

** Received the award




 

Last year's nominations (2013-2014)

Nomination

William Cooley (9 years)
Lincoln-Way North High School
19900 S Harlem Ave
Frankfort, IL 60423
815-534-3174
wcooley@lw210.org

Nomination letter:

When you work with individuals that only strive for the best, it makes you want to do the same. That is what Wes Cooley does for the science and math departments. His enthusiasm towards physics is infectious and makes teachers and students excited about the next step or lesson he is going to convey. I have worked with Wes for eight years, and throughout this entire time, he always puts his students' learning first. He does so through his creativity and his guided inquiry.

Wes has taught all levels of Physics, from our academically weaker Physical Science students to our gifted AP Physics students. The level of the class, never was a challenge for Wes, but rather a challenge for himself to meet the students' needs. In all cases he has been successful. In the past, Wes piloted an extended-time program for our low achievers, but it is what he is currently working on that deserves much praise.

I recently had a chance to watch Wes's class, and I left feeling inspired. In the realization that NGSS is making its move towards us, Wes is ahead of the curve. His students were working on finding the force of friction, and as I looked around, each group had a different set up. I asked Wes what the focus was for that lesson. He said, "On the board are the equations the students are familiar with. I told them to create their own experiment to find the force of friction for these materials." I watched, amazed as these seniors worked on their own experiments, but I was even more amazed when Wes took it one step further and had them make some adaptations. One group changed mass, one an angle, I left that room knowing I had just seen scientific magic and a physics teacher so confident and knowledgeable in his content, he knew just how to challenge his students.

Nominated by:

Maria Wilson, Department Chair
mawilson@lw210.org
Oct. 22, 2013


Nomination

Michael Marchizza (8+31 years)
Edinburg High School
100 E. Martin
Edinburg, Illinois 62531
217-623-5603
mmarchizza@ecusd4.com

Nomination letter:

Mr. Michael Marchizza is a dynamic instructor! Of all teachers, high school students express an outward eagerness to get to "Chizza's" classes. Class content is challenging because Mr. Marchizza loves his craft of teaching and the sciences. He brings life to his classroom with demonstrations, hands-on learning, experimentation, and .. . he's known to have started a fire or two (on accident).

Mr. Marchizza taught for 31 years in the state of Maryland, including biology, physics, chemistry, microbiology, biotechnology applications, bioethics, physical science, environmental science, molecular biology, microbiology, biotechnology applications 1 and 2, and advanced placement biology. He has taught every grade level from 9th through 12th. He helped create a Biotechnology magnet program. He includes DNA sciences, gel electrophoresis, scanning electron microscopy, and bacteriology/immunology into his lessons. He has served as science department chair (at his past district), serves as class sponsor, and participates in any and all student activities. At his past district, he was involved in research comparing DNA sequences at the Smithsonian Summer Research Experience for Teachers where he learned laboratory techniques to extract, purify, amplify, and sequence small segments of DNA. He brought all of this experience to life at Edinburg High School where I believe our students have the best instruction and experience, in a small rural school which lacks proper funding. Mr. Marchizza spends his own money to purchase items for his classes. He also has weekly bake sales where the profits go back into his science fund which also serves to purchase supplies for his classes.

Mr. Marchizza has been continuously employed by Edinburg CUSD #4 for the last 8 years. He is well liked by all faculty and staff. His positive, out-going, never-take-life-for-granted personality plays not only a positive role on our students but staff, parents, board members, and anyone who comes into contact with him. He welcomes elementary classes into his high school classes. High school physics students (and others) form positive relationships with our elementary students as well as experiment together. He even lets me join in on the fun (sometimes). Speed, rate of speed, and a lot of tough math are a few of the topics covered in physics. Rocket days (setting off rockets) rank pretty high with students also. High speed car races and chases come to life in the hallways (where childhood motor sounds come in handy). He makes me miss teaching more than I already do; his classes, on a daily basis, touch an important topic that applies to students' lives. When you see those "ah-ha" moments and the light bulbs turn on, and when you see students not only eager to get to his classroom but to want to learn more, you know that your teacher is making a huge difference in students' lives. When our graduates/alumni return for various functions, I have found one of the first questions they ask is, "Is 'Chizza' still here? He was the best!"

Without a doubt, and without hesitation, I nominate Michael Marchizza to be recognized as the Illinois Outstanding High School Physics Teacher award. In a small school that most people do not know exists, on a small to zero budget, he makes a HUGE difference.

Nominated by:

Patty Hilliard, Superintendent
philliard@ecusd4.com
Nov. 13, 2013


Nomination

Brian Bill (32 years)
Eureka High School
1004 Redbud Lane
Eureka, Illinois 61530
3094673979
billb@district140.org

Nomination letter:

In a small school, a teacher must wear many hats, in this case, Mr. Bill teaches Chemistry and Physics. He is an excellent teacher that gets students enthused about the subject matter and continually promotes all science courses specifically Physics. We are also a school where students are only required to take two science courses to graduate but over 90% of our student body takes three or more courses and score over the 70%ile on the PSAE every year. Mr. Bill has also volunteered his time, year after year, to help with the science extravaganza which is a Saturday program for students in elementary school. He usually teaches a session on cool science experiments that revolve around his Physics curriculum. Mr. Bill will be retiring in two years and is would be a honor to his teaching career to get selected for this honor and a testament that great things can happen in small schools!

Nominated by:

Rich Wherley, Principal
wherleyr@district140.org
Nov. 14, 2013


Nomination

Christian Wimber (currently in 4th year at SHS)
Somonauk High School
500 W. Lasalle
Somonauk, Il 60552
815-498-2314
wimberc@somonauk.net

Nomination letter:

Christian Wimber has taught at Somonauk High School for four years. He has grown immensely over this time as a teacher and mentor to kids.

Mr. Wimber demonstrates not only the science of teaching, but also the art of teaching. He has developed his classes so that students take an active role as the problem solver while he has become the guide and facilitator. Students are not memorizing formulas and equations, like in a traditional classroom; they are developing the formulas and equations themselves to apply to their many questions and inquiries. Class time is often student-interest led. Students generate questions while Mr. Wimber develops opportunities for them to explore and answer their questions, while significantly increasing learning. Student engagement is at a distinguished level at all times.

In addition to being a great teacher, Mr. Wimber has developed many connections with students, typically those who lack connections and relationships that are vital for success. Just recently, Mr. Wimber developed a 'coding club' for students who were interested in writing code. It is amazing to see the number of students who some have yet to have him as a teacher, stay after school and work together with one another. Please consider Mr. Wimber as a candidate for this honor. He is a very deserving teacher. Schools need more Mr. Wimber's in their building...KIDS need more Mr. Wimber's in their lives!

Nominated by:

Justin Snider, HS Principal
sniderj@somonauk.net
Nov. 16, 2013


Nomination

Thomas Henderson (25 years)
Glenbrook South High School
4000 W Lake Ave
Glenview, Illinois 60026
8474864613
thenderson@glenbrook225.org

Nomination letter:

I do not know anyone in the physics community who has had a greater impact on providing physics resources for teachers and students than Tom Henderson. The author of The Physics Classroom (physicsclassroom.com), Minds On Physics (MOPs), and numerous iBooks are just the start of the many incredible resources that Tom has produced for our students at Glenbrook South High School and the physics community around the world.

After receiving a Toyota TAPESTRY grant in the 1990's to help in the develop the online physics resources, practice tools, and online simulations to help students use the emerging world wide web as a tool where students could have their teacher's help 24/7, some of the world's first online physics resources began to emerge from Glenbrook South High School. Hosting the original Physics Classroom and MOPs from a server at school, physics teachers from around the world soon started to use Tom's site for both their own learning as well as a resource for their students. I began to understand the impact of Tom's work when, if our school's server went down for a short time, Tom would receive countless emails from Australia, Germany, and every corner of the globe asking when the site would be back online because these teachers had assignments for their classes built around these resources.

If this is not enough to qualify Tom for this physics teaching award, then perhaps the impact that Tom has had on his own students will be. An exceptional communicator, Tom has challenged some of the brightest minds that have walked the halls of Glenbrook South over the past two and half decades. His students adore him as they write 40-50 thank you letters each years sharing the impact of his teaching in their own lives. In recent years, Tom has begun teaching some of our most challenged students as well and continue to push them forward by making physics come alive through practical experiences. Tom's efforts supporting the Science College Readiness Standards in our department have impacted the acquisition of science process skills (data interpretation, experimental design, and model building) of students throughout our school as students continue to demonstrate improvements in growth from freshmen to senior year. I attribute much of this impact of student growth to Tom and his impact on our entire department embracing this initiative.

I can think of no other physics teacher more respected for his work across the state; I can think of no other physics teacher more deserving of this award than Tom Henderson.

Nominated by:

Jeff Rylander, Instructional Supervisor for Science Department
jrylander@glenbrook225.org
Nov. 16, 2013


Nomination

Regan Chatterton (6 years)
West Prairie High School
18575 E 800 St
Sciota, IL 61475
309-456-3750
Chattertonr@westprairie.org

Nomination letter:

Mr. Chatterton is an excellent young teacher that is able to share his enthusiasm and love for science with his students every day. He forms a strong rapport with his students and parents in order to get the best from the students and the support from the parents.

Mr. Chatterton performs both instructional and laboratory lessons and has worked to develop and change the science curriculum from the state standards to the Common Core Standards. He works with his peers to also incorporate standards from other disciplines in his lessons as well.

He is a tireless worker in the school, taking on class sponsorship, starting a science club and going to competitions, and co-sponsored the student council as well as the SAP team and scholarship committee.

Nominated by:

John Bushmire, Principal
bushmirej@westprairie.org
Nov. 18, 2013


Nomination

Ann Gilman (10 years)
Calhoun High School
102 Calhoun Ave
Hardin, Illinois 62047
618-576-2229
agilman@calhoun40.net

Nomination letter:

I am nominating Ann Gilman for great efforts she puts forth to help her students learn and for the high expectations she has for her students. Ann leads by example in the many activities she supervises at the high school. Ann strives to learn more so that her students can learn better. She has also been a presenter several times at the Connections conference, sharing ideas, strategies, and skills she uses in the classroom.

Ann teaches several science classes, from Physical Science to Physics, always with high expectations for her students. As the NHS sponsor, she looks for ways to get members to contribute to the community in a positive active manner. As the Junior Class sponsor, she is notoriously competitive and always gets the students to participate to win. Ann is also the Olympiad sponsor, and head volleyball coach of a consistently winning team.

Ann willingly attends conferences and workshops to find better teaching strategies and incorporate technology and engineering ideas. She shares this information with colleagues in order to create a more cohesive professional community within the school. She also shares her knowledge with others outside of the school through presentations at the Connections conference as well as workshops in the district.

Nominated by:

Cheri Burris, Asst. Principal
cburris@calhoun40.net
Nov. 25, 2013


Nomination

Martin Kulak (15 years)
James B. Conant High School
700 E. Cougar Trail
Hoffman Estates, Illinois 60169
847 755-3816
mkulak@d211.org

Nomination letter:

Martin Kulak has demonstrated his skill in teaching all levels of the physical sciences from Physical Science to Advanced Placement Physics. His interactive and engaging style motivates and excites students to truly want to understand Physics. He instills in his students the importance of hard work at any level while also enjoying what they are doing. Year after year, Martin's students perform very well on the Advanced Placement Physics B Exam with most students earning a passing score.

Martin has always used various technologies to help his students better understand Physics concepts. Over the last two years he has utilized iPads in a 1:1 program for all the students in his courses to further enhance his teaching practices. Through the use of various applications his students have created annotated videos to explain difficult concepts to other students. His use of hands on lab activities allows his students to interact with each other and with equipment to better understand physics. He has developed several game simulations for students to practice the mathematical side of physics and to simulate lab situations that are not possible inside a classroom. In addition, he will be presenting at the ICE Conference in February 2014 and has presented most recently at a 1:1 Summit on creating game simulations for all subject areas.

Martin is an outstanding Physics teacher and person. He truly exemplifies excellence in teaching and in his collegial relationships. I highly recommend him as the Illinois High School Physics Teacher of the Year.

Nominated by:

Sharon L. McCoy, Science Department Chair and colleague
smccoy@d211.org
Nov. 27, 2013


Nomination

Erik Malvik (6 years)
Nokomis High School
511 Oberle St
Nokomis, IL 62075

erikmalvik@nokomis.k12.il.us

Nomination letter:

I am honored to write this short letter in support of Mr. Malvik. I have personally witnessed the incredibly high quality of engaging instruction that typifies Mr. Malvik's courses. He designs labs that are developmentally appropriate and challenges students to go beyond their self-imposed limitations while helping them reach those goals. Mr. Malvik routinely goes the extra mile for students that struggle by keeping office hours both before and after the school day at Nokomis High School. He diligently prepares to be excellent every day and strives to meet students academic, social, and behavioral needs. Even as I write this letter, I am struggling to find the right words to convey to you the depth of professionalism and instructional excellence that is Mr. Malvik. Perhaps the greatest compliment that I can bestow upon Mr. Malvik is that I wish my son and daughter were able to benefit from his instruction, compassion, and expertise. Thank you, Erik.

Nominated by:

Eric Bruder, principal
ericbruder@nokomis.k12.il.us
Nov. 27, 2013


Nomination

Denise Stephanides (18 years)
Westmont High School
909 N Oakwood Drive
Westmont, IL 60559
630 468 8171
dstephanides@cusd201.org

Nomination letter:

December 16, 2013

Dear Mr. Reid,

I am writing this letter in support of Mrs. Denise Stephanides' nomination for the Physics Teacher of the Year Award. For the last 10 years, I have had the pleasure of working with Denise in the Science Department at Westmont High School. Denise teaches Physics, Honors Physics, AP Physics and Algebra at Westmont High School. She is a positive role model and encourages her students to master physics and math concepts. Denise has developed fun and engaging ways to teach physics concepts by creating weekly labs that allow students to problem solve and work together in teams to solve real life problems. The materials Denise develops support students in mastering physics concepts, but also focus on reading, writing, math, and data interpretation skills.

Denise's dedication to her students is evident inside and outside the classroom. In addition to working with her students and teaching science, she created an after school math/physics tutoring program that allowed advanced math/physics students to tutor their peers. Denise also tries to keep science fun, so she created our school's first ever "Hallway Physics" where she set up physics demonstrations on waves, bridge construction, mirrors, and light. This was a great way to get the students thinking about the importance of physics and basic applications.

Denise is focused, reliable, and dedicated to working with her students and peers. She has fresh ideas and is intent on opening students' minds to the practical uses of physics and math. I give Denise my highest recommendation for the Physics Teacher of the Year Award. If you have any questions or need any additional information, please contact me.

Sincerely,

Lisa Hootman Science Department Westmont High School 630 468 8170 lhootman@cusd201.org

Nominated by:

Lisa Hootman, CoWorker/Peer
lhootman@cusd201.org
Dec. 16, 2013


Nomination

Walter Glogowski (18 years)
Ridgewood High School
7500 W. Montrose Avenue
Norridge, IL 60706
7084564242
wglogowski@ridgenet.org

Nomination letter:

Mr. Glogowski is one of the most creative and versatile teachers we have on our staff. He began teaching after working in research, doing actual science, for several years and is able to bring that experience to his classroom. He has taught biology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, and several computer courses during his time at Ridgewood. Mr. Glogowski has been certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards for several years, showing his commitment to reflective teaching practices and also mentoring and coaching other teachers.

Mr. Glogowski has also provided genuine science research experiences for his students. He developed trips to Kitt Peak observatory in Arizona and radio telescopes through a university in West Virginia. These trips were usually during the summer, for which he volunteered his time. The trips provided opportunities for his students to work with college and graduate students as well as working astronomers. He has built "Rube Goldberg" machines for competitions with select students before and after school on a voluntary basis.

Mr. Glogowski also shares his excitement for science with the community. He has offered many telescope viewing sessions at night for grade-school students and local residents. He coordinated a community-wide multi-disciplinary learning event for a recent solar eclipse. He is respected by his peers, being elected President of the Chicago Astronomical Society. He brings all these experiences back to his classroom to inspire his students' interest in scientific research.

I cannot think of a science educator more deserving to be selected as the Illinois Outstanding High School Physics Teacher.

Nominated by:

Cheryl Flinn, Administrator
cflinn@ridgenet.org
Dec. 17, 2013


Nomination

David Schultz (12 years)
Maine East High School
2601 Dempster
Park Ridge, IL 60068
847-825-4484
dschultz@maine207.org

Nomination letter:

I am pleased to submit this recommendation for Dr. David Schultz for the AAPT High School Teacher of the Year for the Illinois section. Dr. Schultz is a remarkable teacher, as you will gather from reading some of the hallmarks of his teaching below:
- Dr. Schultz engages students by fostering energetic, targeted, student centered classroom dialogue that focuses on real-world, relevant, and authentic examples.
- Dr. Schultz emphasizes important scientific skills such as measurement, quantitative thinking, analysis, modeling, and effective communication through inquiry-based activities.
- Dr. Schultz constantly reflects on his teaching and innovates. For example, he designed an inexpensive multi-purpose physical pendulum and wrote activities for several levels of Physics classes, including AP Physics C. The article was published in "The Physics Teacher" in 2012 (v50, pp436-438). He is the "go to" physics teacher in the school, mentoring many other teachers and challenging them to grow in their practice.
- Dr. Schultz sponsors high-quality learning experience for students outside of the classroom. For example, he applied for and received grants for the problem based learning club (Green Energy Club) to purchase and install a 1 kW solar panel array at the school.
- Dr. Schultz provides opportunities for his students to meet and communicate with and scientists. For example, he takes students on an annual field trip to Argonne National Lab.
- Dr. Schultz has been instrumental in working to build up our AP Physics C program (28 students in 2013-2014) after a brief hiatus.
- Dr. Schultz has begun the implementation of a standards-based grading system, in which students receive feedback on specific targets and goals, rather than in traditional categories of tests, homework, etc. As part of this effort, he has been at the leading edge of using district software for grade keeping and reporting to students and parents.
- Dr. Schultz presents at District institute days. For example, he presented "Organizing your Gradebook by Learning Target" in March 2013. - Dr. Schultz has mentored student teachers in past years.
- Dr. Schultz presented at the National AAPT meeting in 2011.
- Dr. Schultz organized and presented at Physics Northwest meetings at Maine East over the last three years.
- Dr. Schultz is exploring the "flipped classroom" approach. He is building a library of physics videos on his YouTube channel, MegaDSchultz.

Nominated by:

Aida Awad, Science Department Chair, direct supervisor
aawad@maine207.org
Jan. 7, 2014


Nomination

David Schultz (11 years years)
Maine East High School
2601 W. Dempster St.
Park Ridge, IL 60068
(847) 825-4484
dschultz@maine207.org

Nomination letter:

I would like to take this time and submit Dr. David Schultz as my nominee for the Physics Teacher of the Year Award. I have known David for almost 10 years as a colleague in the science department of Maine East High School. As a building instructional coach, I am constantly awed by Dave's innovation and willingness to incorporate every element of best practice that is available. He is a leader in the Physics PLT, helping his team to see the benefits of standards based grading and real world problem solving. He is an innovator in this arena, being the only teacher to truly incorporate the standards based system in his Physics accelerated class. He is ahead of the curve in other techniques as well. Dave was working on questioning strategies long before it became part of our teacher evaluation system. He was incorporating modeling and engineering design in his classes long before the Next Generation Science Standards. He is a reflective and purposeful educator who stops at nothing when it comes to his students.

He spends hours prepping, assisting, guiding, and innovating. He has devoted much time and energy in our Renewable Energy project designed to excite our young females to seek careers in Engineering or STEM fields. He works with students on taking risks, taking responsibility and taking time to be their best. He teaches more than just physics, he teaches "life". It takes a very special educator to be able to connect with students on all levels, not just the academic, but Dr. Schultz is able to do that. We are fortunate to have an educator with such amazing skills and dedication and I am honored to call him a trusted colleague and friend. Please allow him your full consideration.

Nominated by:

Judith Tyler, Colleague/Instructional Coach
judtyler@maine207.org
Jan. 15, 2014


Nomination

David Schultz (11 years)
Maine East High School
2601 Dempster St.
Park Ridge, Illinois 60068
847-825-4484
dschultz@maine207.org

Nomination letter:

January 28, 2014

To whom it may concern,

It is with great pleasure that I recommend Dr. David Schultz for Illinois HIGH SCHOOL Physics Teacher of the Year. I have worked alongside Dr Schultz during the eight years he has taught at Maine East High School.

If you were to observe his class it would be obvious that he loves teaching. His love of Physics is evident in how he engages students with his thought provoking demonstrations, many which are done with equipment that Dr Schultz designed or built. He is always looks for a way to awaken an interest in his students. Students often work in small groups around the room, working at their own pace as Dr Schultz moves around the room observing, questioning, and guiding instruction. Students can be seen offering questions and sharing their results with each other. It doesn't matter if Dave is working on Physics I or on AP Physics C curriculum, he has great ideas to maximize opportunities for students to learn at every level

During his time he has taken a leadership role in curriculum development. He has rewritten, added, or improved much of the curriculum we use. He particularly excels at developing equipment for demonstrations and laboratory experiments that promotes inquiry while demonstrating physics concepts. He had designed and built several pieces of equipment for the lab. One notable example came from developing a cooperative arrangement with a local Bicycle Shop. Using bicycle parts Dr. Schultz made an apparatus that demonstrated the physics of different types of pendulums. This created a visual example that made it easier for the students to understand. Last year, Dr Schultz published an article, in The Physics Teacher magazine describing the apparatus and the application in the lab.

This article is just one example of how Dr Schultz shares his talents outside of the classroom. Dr Schultz cosponsored the Renewable Energy Club, which worked to promote involvement in STEM related activities to young women in our school. One of the things they did was to apply for, and receive a grant to install solar panels in two areas of our school. He has also given a presentation on problem-based learning in physics teaching at the summer AAPT conference in Omaha. He also chairs the Physics PLT at his school, and mentors other Physics teachers.

Dr Schultz is a dedicated and innovative teacher. He leads by example and is a great motivator to both his students and colleagues. His students don't just learn Physics; they experience Physics in a way that is relevant to their lives. Please accept my heartfelt recommendation.

Sincerely,

Patrick Voitik Science Teacher Maine East High School 2601 Dempster Street Park Ridge, Illinois 60068

Nominated by:

Patrick Voitik, Coworker
pvoitik@maine207.org
Jan. 28, 2014


Nomination

David Baxter (21 years)
Galesburg High School
1135 W. Fremont Street
Galesburg, Illinois 61401
(309) 973-2001
dbaxter@galesburg205.org

Nomination letter:

Over the past two years I have had the distinct pleasure of working with David Baxter as his principal at Galesburg High School. In that time I have gotten to know him well in his role as a Physics teacher Science Department Chair. Our collaboration has proven productive and enjoyable; as David is a pleasure to work with and exemplifies the best qualities that one hopes to find in a team partner. Both professional and affable, David is an indispensable member of our team, always ready to converge on a given task with diligence and enthusiasm that never fails to see a task through to completion.

Mr. Baxter is a National Board Certified teacher and uses servant leadership to share his knowledge in the classroom and department. David commits long hours and much planning and organization to make his department and classroom run smoothly and effectively. He is an excellent communicator with a genuine kindness and humility displayed by putting other's needs ahead of his own. In addition to David's responsibilities as a teacher and Department Chair, he has supervised WYSE and started the Chess Club. His innovative teaching style and use of data to support students in our Science Department has led to positive changes throughout our building and improved academic performance and morale throughout our school.

I write this letter in unequivocal support of David Baxter, an exceptional teacher, colleague, leader, and human-being who is well deserving of the distinction of Science Teacher of the Year.

Nominated by:

Roy Van Meter, Supervisor (Principal)
rvanmeter@galesburg205.org
Jan. 31, 2014


Nomination

Jack Marino (27 years)
Maine South High School
1111 S. Dee Road
Park Ridge, Illinois 60068
8476928100
jmarino@maine207.org

Nomination letter:

Jack Marino is without a doubt the most highly respected teacher in our school by both students and his colleagues. He is the type of person who truly touches other people's lives by knowing them and makes you want to strive to be a better person yourself. Students in Mr. Marino's classes not only learn physics in a deeper way than they ever have before, but also learn about what it means to truly treat others with dignity. His care and concern for his students is matched only by the passion with which he teaches. He has the highest level of integrity of any person I have ever met, while also being humble, humorous, and extremely dedicated to his profession.

I have been the Science Department Chair at Maine South for the last twelve years and have observed Mr. Marino teach numerous times. Each time I step into his classroom, whether he is teaching our highest level of AP Physics or our lowest level of Transitional Physics, I walk away with a better understanding of the topic than I had before. Mr. Marino has a captivating way of explaining concepts by building stories and connections around them. One example of this is his incorporation of "Physics Wonders", which are short presentations he makes to his classes regarding an everyday phenomena to try to get at the physics behind it. Over the last couple of years, Mr. Marino has been running a "flipped classroom" for his AP students for which he has created a set of YouTube videos for them to watch on their own so that their time in class can be spent on discussion and peer learning opportunities. Mr. Marino's physics videos have been increasingly viewed by people all around the world, and he has received many comments from viewers such as, "I would have never made it through my physics course without these." Mr. Marino has mastered the "modeling method" of teaching physics and engages students with the material in authentic ways. During his class, he poses questions to his students in such a way that the students are not sure whether or not he has the answer to them. Then the whole class will get involved in a discussion during which Mr. Marino becomes an integrated part instead of the leader until the question is resolved. It is a fascinating experience to observe and be a part of, and I have not seen another teacher replicate this effect in the same way. Perhaps this is because at his core, Mr. Marino is a learner himself, and he is always looking for new ideas, information, and techniques to use in the classroom.

Mr. Marino has positively affected numerous people's lives during his 27-year career so far. Besides the impact he has had on his students, he has also provided support and guidance to his colleagues and has helped improve their teaching. He has mentored many of the physics teachers in our district, has contributed ideas to local physics teacher groups (such as Physics Northwest), and has been an active contributor to online groups devoted to AP Physics and using the modeling method. I could not give a higher endorsement for Mr. Marino, and I cannot imagine a candidate better suited to the title of Illinois Outstanding High School Physics Teacher.

Nominated by:

Daun Biewenga, Direct Supervisor (Science Dept. Chair)
dbiewenga@maine207.org
Jan. 31, 2014


Recent submissions below this line.


Nomination

Bud Schultz (2012-Present years)
Dwight Township High School High School
801 S. Franklin St.
Dwight, IL 60420
8155846200
schultzb@dwight.k12.il.us

Nomination letter:

Bud Schultz is a very dedicated professional educator who cares deeply about the success of every one of his students. He incorporates a variety of engaging activities into each lesson which generates student initiative and creative thought. During discussions, he utilizes a questioning strategy that guides students towards independent inquiry and critical thought. One former student wrote, "Out of all the teachers and classes I took in high school, yours was the most beneficial. You were the one teacher who prepared me the best for college coursework. You weren't the type of teacher who would just give us the answers if we were stumped. We had to work for them. I am in a Physics class this semester at Purdue University and many of the demonstrations we have seen here are the same as what you presented last year. I can honestly say that this course is no harder than my high school Physics class thanks to you."

As his administrator, I have been pleased with Mr. Schultz's initiative in providing challenging opportunities for our students outside of the school through the ITT Bridge Building Competition and Physics Day at Great America. He has contributed significantly to our math and science department meetings as we work towards the incorporation of Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards. His extraordinary efforts have been recognized through comments from colleagues and other professionals in his field. Ann Brandon, representative from the American Association of Physics Teachers wrote, "Your physics teacher, Bud Schultz, gave of his time above and beyond the call of duty. At Physics Day at Great America, he manned the computer desk, downloaded data, and made it available for students for well over 4 hours. The Vest Operation was a success because of his tremendous contribution of time and effort."

Bud Schultz truly believes in doing what is best for his students. For his tremendous efforts within the classroom and extensive work outside of the school setting, I truly feel that Bud Schultz is a worthy candidate for the Illinois Outstanding High School Physics Teacher Award.

Nominated by:

Dan Kaiser, Principal
kaiserd@dwight.k12.il.us
Jan. 7, 2015


Nomination

Christian Wimber (5 years)
Somonauk High School High School
500 W. Lasalle St.
Somonauk, Il 60552
815-498-2314
wimberc@somonauk.net

Nomination letter:

Christian Wimber has taught a range of science courses in his five year career at Somonauk High School. Classes have ranged from Chemistry and Advanced Chemistry to Physics. Mr. Wimber also teaches a section of PSAE Prep to juniors in preparation for the PSAE exam. Additionally, Mr. Wimber has been the NHS adviser for the past four years.

Within his Professional Learning Community, he has worked hard to analyze the curriculum and develop course outcomes that reflect rigorous standards aligned to Next Generation Science Standards. Throughout this process, he has developed a variety of assessments that are aligned to the identified outcomes for the courses he teaches. He is beginning to develop instructional strategies to reach all students regardless of their learning modality. In addition, he has incorporated a variety of hands-on and lab activities to increase student learning. Mr. Wimber’s classroom can be described as one with communication, teamwork, and problem solving among all students on any given day. Students are posed with a problem, given the opportunity to problem solve, and then communicate through weekly ‘Board Meetings’. Mr. Wimber has redefined the role of teacher as a facilitator through his distinguished ability to ask questions.

Another outstanding quality that Christian brings to the classroom is his advocacy for students. Christian is cognoscente of the student’s different learning styles and needs. He differentiates instruction and assessments so that all students can be successful. If students are not displaying mastery on a particular skill, Christian utilizes time throughout the day, before or after school, to reteach so that the student can demonstrate mastery. Assessments are created and organized by outcomes and skills so that reteaching and reassessing can be tailored to each student’s needs. I can say with confidence that all students in Christian’s classroom are prepared for the next level of learning. In a time when we expect all students to be lifelong learners and problem solvers, Christian models that for both students and his peers. It is with highest regard that I recommend Christian Wimber for the High School Teacher of the Year Award.

Nominated by:

Justin Snider, Principal
sniderj@somonauk.net
Jan. 9, 2015


Nomination

Martha Lietz (26 years)
Niles West High School High School
5701 Oakton Street
Skokie, Illinois 60077
(847) 626-2772
marlie@d219.org

Nomination letter:

It is with great pleasure I nominate Martha Lietz, Niles West Physics teacher, for the High School Teacher of the Year Award. Martha is an outstanding teacher who has made many contributions to physics education at varying levels: Niles West High School, District 219 Niles Township, the State of Illinois, and the Nation. I am impressed by Martha's ability to work with students in and out of the classroom. Nationally Board certified and a master of her subject area. Martha has been a major contributor to the AP Physics program as a leader and test developer. Not only does Martha help our students at West she has an impact on all students nationwide. I highly recommend Martha for this award.

Nominated by:

Ami LeFevre, Director of Science Niles West
amilef@d219.org
Jan. 9, 2015


Nomination

Stacy Gates (6 years)
Fulton High School High School
1207 12th St
Fulton, Illinois 61252
8155893511
sgates@riverbendschools.net

Nomination letter:

I am nominating Stacy Gates for physics teacher of the year. I have worked with Stacy the last two years and cannot think of a more deserving candidate. Her physics class is one of the classes that our students enjoy the most which is not often said about physics. For every single unit that Stacy teaches, she develops real hands on experiences for the students. In her kinetic energy unit, she has all of the students build paper roller coasters and then she videos the students showing how their coasters work. She then shares the videos with our staff and we vote on the winning coaster. In her unit on projectile motion, Stacy uses a potato gun on the football field which is a great exercise that the student enjoy while they are learning.

In addition to teaching Physics here at FHS, Stacy also runs the science club. Stacy has made being in the science club fun and the students really enjoy it. She organized a dry ice bowling event in the hallway of our science department that the students loved. Stacy also gives her own time freely to help her students learn. Later this month she is taking the science club to the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago on a Sunday. She is driving a van 2.5 hours to Chicago each way on her day off because she loves science and enjoys watching the students enjoy science. I have been in education 19 years and worked at 5 different high schools and cannot think of a more deserving teacher than Stacy Gates. I hope you consider her for this award.I would also encourage you to visit her class website that she created. https://sites.google.com/a/riverbendschools.net/gates-science/home You can watch the roller coaster video competition from last semester!

Nominated by:

Christopher Tennyson, FHS Principal
ctennyson@riverbendschools.net
Jan. 9, 2015


Nomination

Elizabeth Ramseyer (25 years)
Niles West High School
5701 Oakton Street
Skokie, IL - Illinois 60077
847-626-2765

Nomination letter:

I am writing to nominate Elizabeth Ramseyer for the Illinois Outstanding High School Physics Teacher Award. It is with great pleasure I nominate Elizabeth for this award. Elizabeth is an accomplished teacher who inspires students to learn beyond the classroom. She has a unique skill set as our Astronomy teacher and works hard to educate our school and community. We take pride in our science resources, including our on site Observatory. Elizabeth has been instrumental in building our observatory and growing our Astronomy program. Please visit this website to learn more about the impact Elizabeth has had on our Physics program at Niles West: https://sites.google.com/a/d219.org/nwhs-observatory.

Nominated by:

Ami LeFevre, Director of Science Niles West
amilef@d219.org
Jan. 9, 2015


Nomination

Bud Schultz (3 at our school years)
Dwight Township High School High School
801 S. Franklin St.
Dwight, IL 60420
8155846288
schultzb@dwight.k12.il.us

Nomination letter:

I would like to nominate Mr. Bud Schultz for the High School Physics Teacher of the Year Award. Mr. Schultz has been teaching in our district for the past three years. He is a very dedicated professional educator who cares deeply about the success of every one of his students. He incorporates a variety of engaging activities into each lesson which generates student initiative and creative thought. During discussions, he utilizes a questioning strategy that guides students towards independent inquiry and critical thought. In a recent letter to him, one student wrote, "I have to say you were the one high school teacher who truly prepared me for college courses. I want to thank you for your efforts both in and out of the classroom. You weren't the type of teacher to just give us answers if we were stumped. We had to work for them so we would truly understand the concepts. I am in a Physics class this semester at Purdue University and many of the demonstrations we have done are very similar to the one's we did in high school. I can honestly say that this course is no harder than my high school Physics thanks to the way you taught us at DTHS."

As principal, I have been pleased with Mr. Schultz's initiative in providing challenging opportunities for our students outside of the school through the ITT Bridge Building Competition and Physics Day at Great America. He puts a lot of time and effort into these programs and has been recognized several times for it. American Association of Physics Teachers Representative, Ann Brandon, wrote, "Your Physics teacher, Bud Schultz, gave of his time above and beyond the call of duty at our recent Physics Day at Great America. Bud manned the computer desk, downloaded data, and made it available to students for over 4 hours that day. The Vest Operation was a great success because of his contribution of time and effort at the park."

Overall, Mr. Schultz is a very conscientious and well-prepared educator. He works professionally with colleagues and students and truly cares about everyone’s success in education. Based on his qualifications and experiences, I believe that he is a deserving candidate for the 2015 High School Physics Teacher of the Year Award.

Nominated by:

Dan Kaiser, Principal
kaiserd@dwight.k12.il.us
Jan. 12, 2015


Nomination

Kris Kleeman (21 years)
Triad High School High School
513 Avalon
Troy, IL 62294
618-593-3503
Kris.Kleeman@triadunit2.org

Nomination letter:

Mrs. Kleeman is an exceptional high school Physics teacher who has taught Honors Chemistry I and Honors Physics at Triad High School for the past twenty-one school years. She has repeatedly demonstrated her mastery of physics and has been able to relate her practical knowledge of physics through lectures, demonstrations, and laboratory activities in a format that high school students can understand and learn. Mrs. Kleeman’s high school Honors Physics course serves as a dual credit course with Saint Louis University.

She spends countless hours preparing for the labs and demonstrations that are so important for a well-taught science lesson. Her lessons are presented in a very sequential nature, using different learning modalities to provide for individual differences. Mrs. Kleeman makes use of every instructional minute while maintaining her students’ interest in having fun learning science. In addition to her classroom teaching, Mrs. Kleeman serves as the varsity girls’ softball coach, and sponsors the National Honor Society at Triad High School.

Mrs. Kleeman has a very pleasant, student-friendly personality. She is considered an outstanding educator by her peers on the faculty. Her students have the utmost respect for her teaching abilities which only serves to encourage more students to enroll in her physics classes. Mrs. Kleeman is an exceptional high school physics teacher. She is well deserving of her nomination for this award and is truly deserving of receiving the award for the Outstanding High School Physics Teacher in Illinois.

Nominated by:

Rodney Winslow, Principal
rodney.winslow@triadunit2.org
Jan. 15, 2015


Nomination

Mike Rogier (26 years)
Belleville West High School High School
4063 Frank Scott Parkway
Belleville, illinois 62220
618-222-7500 ext. 4675
jlombardi@bths201.org

Nomination letter:

Mike Rogier is an icon among the faculty at Belleville West but more importantly is loved and revered by our students. His dedication to his students and his fellow teachers is exemplified daily by constantly setting high expectations for student learning. Mike then spends countless hours planning lessons that scaffold ideas together in a way that allows his students to reach those high academic standards. It is not uncommon to find Mike in his room an hour before school or an hour or two after school tutoring students who need more time to reach those standards. He is the ideal example of self sacrifice never seeking financial or personal accolades for all his hard work.

Being great for a day or a week is one thing but Mike has demonstrated these admirable characteristics for all of his 26 years of being a teacher. He is always looking for ways to improve his skills. Mike practices and is an advocate of the "Modeling Method" of teaching developed by the Arizona State University. This method of teaching makes students focus on using models to represent systems that can be studied and analyzed, so students can make conclusions and provide evidence that supports those conclusions. Mike has also been a member of the St. Louis Area Physics Teachers group which allows for professional collaboration with some of the best physics teachers in the Metro East.

As any good teacher knows it is important to be get out of your classroom and be a part of the school community. Mike has demonstrated this be being the coordinator of the Belleville West Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering (WYSE) club, the Sponsor of the Belleville West Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC) team, is the musical coordinator for the Belleville West Spring Musical and an active member of the Belleville West School Improvement Data Analysis team.

Nominated by:

Joseph Lombardi, Science Department Chair Belleville West High School
jlombardi@bths201.org
Jan. 22, 2015


Nomination

Martin Kulak (16 years)
James B. Conant High School High School
700 East Cougar Trail
Hoffman Estates, Illiinois 60169
847-755-3600
mkulak@d211.org

Nomination letter:

I would like to nominate Marin Kulak for the Physics Teacher of the Year Award through the Illinois Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers. Martin Kulak is the teacher and coach that all students want to have. He is very passionate about working with students and has natural love for teaching. Because of this, he seeks excellence in each and every lesson and in all of his student interactions. A trip to his class will find his students engaged and participating in learning. Mr. Kulak uses humor to keep his classes fun and to keep students on task. He is constantly trying new approaches and assessing its effectiveness. Mr. Kulak is always pushing himself to do even better. Even though Mr. Kulak is a physics teacher, he feels it vital that students become great learners. Because of this Mr. Kulak has championed for both students and teachers the importance of using assessment feedback. He teaches students how to make adjustment to their learning by utilizing electronic feedback from assessments he has designed. In turn his students can decide in which areas of physics study they need to put more emphasis. They also learn how to be better overall learners. Mr. Kulak has taught classes for teachers that instructs them how to also utilize feedback from assessments to improve their teaching and their students’ learning. He has shared his expertise at local conventions and national conferences. Mr. Kulak is constantly raising the level of performance of his classes, department, school and profession. He would be a great representative for Physics Teacher of the Year.

Nominated by:

Robert Small, Administrative Supervisor
rsmall@d211.org
Jan. 29, 2015