Teacher Innovator

Holiday gifts came a few weeks early for a lucky Naperville Central High School teacher.

Todd Holmberg received a new printer and camera, plus a $400 gift certificate to OfficeMax.

The Naperville-based company presents the items to District 203 educators as a part of their Teacher Innovator Award, given out each month.

Naperville Central teachers have won two of the three awards given out by OfficeMax this school year.

Principal Bill Wiesbrook thinks it’s a great way of showcasing usually unheralded teachers.

“We have lots of all star teachers here at Naperville Central,” said Wiesbrook. “Whenever a few of them get a chance to get recognized with a pat on the back, I think that’s great.”

Holmberg was this month’s award recipient for his efforts to integrate technology into the classroom.

“I saw my principal come in and I didn’t quite know why he was coming in, and then he was followed up by another eight or nine people, so that’s always a little bit exciting,” said Holmberg. “It’s nice to be recognized for the things that you do.”

While Holmberg applies technology in the classroom, he also helps other teachers with the learning curve of doing the same.

“He helps out the older veteran teachers who might say, ‘I don’t know how to use Blackboard,’ or ‘I don’t even know how to use a PowerPoint,’” said Wiesbrook. “Mr. Holmberg has been someone that has helped other teachers embrace technology [and] try new things.”

Eric Kaisling, a Spanish teacher at Naperville Central, won the Teacher Innovator Award last year. Kaisling felt like paying it forward, so he nominated Holmberg.

“I think that [Holmberg] is one of the most innovative, creative teachers that we have in the building,” said Kaisling. “Since I’ve know him, he’s been doing things in the classroom that are always cutting edge.”

“It’s fun to be recognized by your colleagues,” said Holmberg. “It means a lot.”

What matters most to Holmberg is the daily interaction with his students.

“You get to do a different thing everyday,” said Holmberg. “You get to be with kids and teach them things that you think are important and hopefully will last with them forever.”

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