Meet WGN and SXU's Teacher of the Month
Congratulations to Thomas Clark, a history teacher at Lake Central High School in St. John, Indiana, for being April’s Teacher of the Month.
For 30 years, Thomas Clark has been sharing his passion for history with his high school students. Clark takes the preconceived notion of a lackluster history class and turns his lessons into an unforgettable experience. “Their idea when they walk through the door is history stinks, or history’s boring,” says Clark. “So my goal is to change their attitude.”
Clark’s appetite for history has not gone unnoticed by students, who describe his teaching method as dynamic. Students in his class experience history not through PowerPoint slides but through invigorating discussions and actual historical props. Russian hats from Afghanistan, war uniforms and various historical artifacts occupy the walls of his classroom—all of which Clark accumulated over the years and continues to use in his lectures.
His refreshing teaching method and boundless energy account for Clark’s substantial fan base at Lake Central High School. “Mr. Clark is not just a teacher—he’s an experience at our high school,” says Sarah Bredar, one of Clark’s students. “He is not only able to spark everyone’s interest in history, but is also able to help them grow as a person.”
Every day, Clark approaches the subject of history with renewed vigor, and his love for teaching is unmistakable. Clark explains how the students motivate him, but to the students, the feeling is mutual: "[Clark has] honestly made me consider becoming an educator because he’s so incredible," says Isaiah Biollot. Clearly, this history buff has been an inspiration for students at Lake Central.
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.