Teacher Wins State Award

A local teacher is being honored for his dedication to his students and his country.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars recently named Naperville North’s Michael Jelinek Illinois High School Teacher of the Year.

Each year they hold a competition recognizing teachers who promote patriotism, civic responsibilities and Americanism in the classroom, all qualities he leads by example. Jelinek is still serving in the Naval Reserves.

“We use the entire topic of social studies, the whole curriculum to get students to identify themselves as part of a larger community and understand the service component and that everybody has a role to play. For me, my service in the military, that’s the way I chose to serve,” said Jelinek.

The history teacher was selected by the Judd Kendall VFW to represent them because he brings his personal journey to the classroom.

After being selected by the Naperville VFW, he went on to win at the district and state levels and will next compete in the national teacher of the year contest. If he wins, both Jelinek and Naperville North will win $1,000.

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