Eagle Pointe Elementary School staff members had a surprise visitor during their virtual staff meeting on Tuesday, October 13, 2020.
Chicago Bears Chairman George McCaskey appeared online to announce the newest Chicago Bears Classroom Champion – Eagle Pointe Elementary School First Grade Teacher Scott Samek.
“This program, Classroom Champions, is designed to honor outstanding teachers who go above and beyond, and that is especially important these days in the midst of the pandemic with all of the challenges that arise such as remote learning,” McCaskey said during the Zoom meeting.
The nomination surprised Samek, he said.
“I am speechless, and I cannot thank everyone enough for all of the support they have given me,” Samek said during the Zoom meeting. “Today it is not about one teacher it is about all of us, and we have to work together in so many aspects these days. This is truly an honor,” he added.
During the virtual Zoom meeting, Samek received a Chicago Bears “swag bag” filled with hats, books for students, flags and pens, a personalized Chicago Bears Jersey, an autographed football from Chicago Bears Football Player Akiem Hicks and a check for $1,000.
Eagle Pointe Elementary School Principal Bill Stockey nominated Samek.
When Stockey heard about the Chicago Bears Classroom Champions program, he said he immediately thought of Samek.
In the nomination letter to the Chicago Bears, Stockey noted the many reasons Samek is a Classroom Champion:
• Commitment to forming strong relationships with his students
• Finding creative ways to connect with students
• Technology trailblazer for District 202 and Eagle Pointe Elementary School
• Offers his own time to support other teachers with technology, especially during remote learning
• His dedication to spreading kindness through his organization, Memories for Maverick, in honor of his late son
“Scott is one of the most selfless people I have ever met. He is so giving with his time and is so patient with everyone,” Stockey said. “He never asks for anything in return. He really cares about the Eagle Pointe community, so it was nice to be able to give him this recognition,” he added.
Samek said he was shocked by the nomination but is thankful to Stockey.
“Being nominated is the ultimate ‘win’ for me,” Samek said. “I never look for recognition when I’m teaching or helping others out, but I surely can appreciate when someone is grateful for what I do,” he added.
For Samek, being a Classroom Champion is all about making connections with students, he said.
“A Classroom Champion is about teaching beyond the curriculum and providing students with positive experiences that help develop their academic skills and, most importantly, build character and shape them as kind and respectful individuals,” Samek said.
“It also means supporting the ones around you and working as a team, no matter what the situation holds,” he added.
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1900 Oxford WayJoliet, IL 60431
Main Office: (815) 577-2021
Fax: (815) 254-6862
Vicky Foster - Principal