• Teacher: Chuck Young
  • Subject: Science
  • School: Skyline High School
  • Awarded: October 2011

Teacher Bio - When Chuck Young walked into a school assembly earlier this month at Skyline High School in Pratt, Kansas, he saw nearly a dozen family members in the bleachers. They had gathered at Young's high school to watch their favorite teacher receive the Educating Excellence Award for December, although Young did not yet know about the honor or the $1,500 check that was to be presented to him. "I was afraid they were about to announce my retirement," Young said of his first reaction to the unexpected crowd. "But this is much better!"

Young, who teaches science courses including biology, chemistry and physics will tell you in his unpretentious way that he's just doing his job the best he can; however, his colleagues, former students and members of the community tell a different story. They describe how Young goes above and beyond traditional standards in his classroom. He is everyone's favorite teacher, but not because his classes are easy – in fact, his courses are known to be quite challenging. As rigorous and occasionally frustrating as the subject matter might be, students find they are often better prepared than their peers when they enroll in college-level science courses.

Young stays on top of current trends in science and research, and his passion and enthusiasm for all things scientific is evident in his classroom instruction. He engages his students in a positive way that make them eager to learn more, and with that foundation, many leave Skyline High School not only with a better understanding of the discipline but also a strong worth ethic and improved skills as critical thinkers.

Thank you, Chuck Young, for your dedication and hard work; we hope it's many years before you decide to retire!