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Hinderman: Orland Jr. High teacher chosen as WGN-TV’s Teacher of the Month

WGN-TV journalist Muriel Clair (left) St. Xavier University associate provost Richard Venneri (right) flank OrlJunior High School teacher Lori Haskett

WGN-TV journalist Muriel Clair (left) and St. Xavier University associate provost Richard Venneri (right) flank Orland Junior High School teacher Lori Haskett as she is presented with a Teacher of the Month award Oct. 17. | Supplied photo

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Updated: December 11, 2013 6:11AM



It’s rewarding when you’re recognized for excellence in your workplace, as Orland Junior High School physical education teacher Lori Haskett has experienced. She has been selected as WGN-TV’s October Teacher of the Month, which carries a $1,000 cash award and recognition from St. Xavier University.

Orland Junior High eighth grader Hannah Serlovsky nominated Haskett because she “provides a positive role model to the students. She encourages her students to excel in their school studies as well as on the field.”

In her nomination, Hannah cites examples of how Haskett combines learning and fitness, including using heart rate monitors and implementing Fitness Fridays during PE classes, where the kids learn to maintain a healthy lifestyle that they will use throughout their lives.

Hannah told how Haskett wants students to be prepared both mentally and physically for class.

“Mentally, her students need to realize the importance of being active and understand the healthy benefits from it. She wants us to lead healthy lifestyles beyond the classroom. Physically, she taught us that tests have shown that students who are physically active are more focused and do better in every aspect of their lives.”

Haskett received her award Oct. 17, which was taped for airing Oct. 30 during a segment of the WGN-TV News at Nine. The broadcast can be viewed online at wgntv.com/2013/10/30/october-teacher-of-the-month-lori-haskett/”

Reflecting on her nomination, Haskett said she was surprised that she “positively influenced a student enough that she took time out to nominate me. That means a lot. ... I cannot describe how honored I am that I won.”

Orland Junior High Principal Linda Kane said “school is a place for learning, but preparing students to be ‘citizens of the community’ is the ultimate goal.” She described Haskett as “one of my ‘go to’ people, always going above and beyond.”

Hannah said she heard about the contest through her father when he was browsing online, and she decided to interview and ultimately nominate her teacher, adding that “I was really happy when she won. She really deserves it.”

Library offers help

Many jobs require employees to stay “on top of their game” by attending seminars, training or other enrichment programs.

In Illinois, teachers are mandated to attain each year continuing professional development units (CPDUs), which are becoming increasingly difficult to obtain.

The Orland Park Public Library has decided to offer opportunities to gain those units after Mary Adamowski, director of youth services, attended the Illinois Library Association Conference last month in Rosemont and realized that the library could be an effective resource for such continuing education.

On Nov. 16, teachers will be able to take part in a program designed to help them engage their students. Lora Van Marel, the library’s preschool services coordinator, will present “Make and Take Flannel Stories,” in which she will demonstrate how to create two different flannel stories adaptable for ages 3 to 8.

Two CPDU credits will be awarded for this free workshop. Register by phone at (708) 428-5127.



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