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Teacher of the Month

Meet WGN and SXU's Teacher of the Month

Congratulations to Shari Hayes, an adaptive physical ed instructor at St. Charles North High School in suburban St. Charles, for being March’s Teacher of the Month.

This March’s Teacher of the Month award goes to a compassionate teacher who takes students with special needs and eases them into the world of competitive sports. Hayes is always thinking of new ways of getting her students to be actively involved in gym class: “For me in adaptive PE I want to make sure that all my kids can participate, and they also get a say in what they’re doing, so if they want to play a particular sport or activity, they get a voice. They get to choose.”  

Hayes is able to provide disabled students with the experience of enjoying sports with their classmates. Her innovative technique is what sets Hayes apart because she doesn’t see these particular challenges as a problem.

This can especially be seen with Jack McGraw, the student who brought Ms. Hayes’ state-of-the-art method to attention. Jack, who is confined to a wheel chair, says that he “likes sport and always wanted to participate. And watching other kids do what he could not do hurt.” However, Hayes came up with a way to utilize his chair itself to hit the soccer ball. Now, Jack is off the sidelines—all thanks to the efforts of Ms. Hayes.

If you are currently a student age 13 or older in the Chicagoland area, please visit the Contest Page on WGN's website to nominate a teacher whom you feel makes a difference at your school or in your community.