FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Until 7:00 p.m. April 13, 2002
a "visionary educator," named
2002 Illinois Teacher of the Year
Fremd High School
physics teacher and science department chair Robert
Grimm says that his vision for education focuses on
doing whatever is necessary to ensure that students
succeed not just within the classroom, but within the
community as well.
believes that one of the greatest tools available to
help students learn is other students. "One person
may have an initial seed of an idea, but it is through
the scrutiny of others that the idea grows more useful."
his term as Illinois Teacher of the Year, Grimm will
have plenty of opportunities to test this philosophy
as he works with teachers, students, administrators,
and community members.
is a 23-year veteran who began his career because he
found he thrived when working with others in group settings
or as partners. He decided that if he could help others
learn in the same manner he could make a difference
in many lives. He was chosen as Teacher of the Year
from among 14 outstanding finalists for the Illinois
State Board of Education's Those Who Excel awards program.
Bob and about 290 other excellent educators, school
staff, parents and community volunteers were honored
April 13th as part of the 28th
Teacher of the Year, Grimm will spend the 2002 fall
semester speaking at teacher workshops, educational
conferences and civic and community meetings. He will
also receive a lifetime tuition waiver to state universities
and a one-semester paid leave to pursue graduate work
or develop an educational project that will benefit
schools across the state.
addition, he will represent Illinois at the NASA Space
Camp in Huntsville, Alabama, and in the National Teacher
of the Year program sponsored by the Council of Chief
State School Officers and Scholastic, Inc.
of Bob's caliber are the reason Illinois education continues
to improve," said State Superintendent of Education
Respicio Vazquez. "His dedication to helping his
students learn, coupled with his own commitment to continuous
learning make him an educator to emulate."
became interested in education as a profession while
he studied science. An experience with one of his physics
professors sealed that decision and helped launch Bob's
career. He moved back to Illinois after teaching at
an inner city school in Pontiac City, Michigan.
says that one of the most important things he learned
early in his career was to listen to veteran educators.
Bob learned early-on how much impact mentors could have
on a young teacher.
lessons have helped him recognize how students gain
understanding through the strength of other students.
Bob has his students work in small groups and take active
and leading roles in discussions-strategies he says
have helped every student to achieve.
Shirley Mertz explains one of the ways Bob connects
students. "Building Construction is an applied
technology course in which a team of 15 students build
a home from the ground up. Bob brings students with
a theoretical perspective, such as physics, together
with students proficient in applying knowledge in real-life
situations. Theory and practice come together as all
the students work in pairs to wire 120-volt circuts."
has cultivated a business partnership with Motorola
that has opened yet more doors for his students to expand
their knowledge. Several projects have been initiated
through this partnership, including astronomy classes
that use an "antenna dish" to see NASA television
and Earth Science classes using a weather station on
the roof so weather can be charted. Motorola engineers
and executives regularly visit the school to hear and
see power point presentations by the students who are
conducting consumer product testing on new walkie-talkie
lines produced by Motorola.
1984 Bob was named the Illinois High School Physics
Teacher of the Year." In 1991 he received the "Presidential
Award for Excellence in Science Teaching." He has
written numerous articles and publications pertaining
to the field of science.
and his wife, Tracey, have two sons, Chris and Mike.
They live in Arlington Heights.