Updated: June 13, 2013 5:41PM
Stagg High School English teacher Lisa Thyer recently was recognized with the University of Chicago Outstanding Educator Award. She was nominated for the award by Mara Heneghan, a 2012 Stagg graduate and current University of Chicago student.
“She goes out of her way to attend school events from football games to drama club productions and is always interested to hear what her students are doing outside of the classroom,” Heneghan said. “This interest in her students’ lives and respect for their time fostered the most positive learning environment I have ever experienced and earned her mutual respect from all of her classes. This atmosphere inspired her students to do well in all subjects simply to make Mrs. Thyer proud.”
Thyer said her experience as a tutor for high school students during her freshman year in college and her mother’s stories of her teaching experiences influenced her to become a teacher.
In an interview from the university’s website, Thyer said, “I constantly work to make the curriculum relevant, whether it is on a small scale, such as finding ways for students to connect personally with a seemingly inaccessible character in a Shakespearian tragedy, or on a larger scale by bringing in slam poets to perform for the students, or encouraging and giving my students the agency and means to create, plan and implement their own social action project.”
When asked what she would like her legacy to be, Thyer said, “Having only taught for seven years, it is a bit difficult to think of myself as a person capable of leaving something as powerful as a legacy behind. So if ‘legacy’ is something that is never associated with my name, I would at least like to know that I had a reputation of being tough but fair, imperfect but persistent and was a teacher that cared so much it was impossible for her students not to care too.”