For Immediate Release
November 16, 2009

Chicago High School Social Studies teacher earns national recognition as a ‘top notch’ educator

Bogan Computer Technical High School 11th grade teacher selected for Milken National Educator Award

CHICAGO – The Illinois State Board of Education and the Milken Family Foundation announced today Chicago Public Schools Teacher Arthur Wachholz has been selected for the Milken National Educator Award. Wachholz, an 11th grade social studies teacher at Bogan Computer Technical High School will receive $25,000 as part of the award.

"We commend Mr. Wachholz’s dedication and achievement, particularly his ongoing efforts to use data and classroom experience to determine how best to instruct each student," said State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch. "I want to thank the Milken Family Foundation for their commitment to recognizing these teachers that go above and beyond."

Wachholz uses an organized, data-driven teaching method to create critical thinking projects, develop questions that align with learning standards and help students learn to the best of their ability, according to Richard Venckus, History Department Chairperson at Bogan Computer Technical High School.

"He’s a truly exceptional teacher – top notch," Venckus said. "He really has a knack for challenging the students and encouraging them to take responsibility for their own education."

Dr. Gary Stark, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching, represented the Milken Family Foundation at Monday’s assembly at Bogan for the surprise announcement. Dr. Stark oversees the implementation of TAP: The System for Teacher and Student Advancement, one of the most recognized comprehensive school reform models in the country.

The Milken National Educator Award is given annually to teachers demonstrating exemplary skills and a personal commitment to education.  Each winner receives $25,000 from the Milken Family Foundation which they can use however they wish.

Wachholz, a teacher for five years, is admired by students, colleagues and administrators. He is a key member of Bogan’s instructional leadership team and the school improvement team. Wachholz is a data committee leader and has created assessment forms and tools to improve student learning.

This year marks the 23nd anniversary of the Milken Educator Awards and $60 million has been awarded to more than 2400 recipients, including the 2009 awardees.  New winners will join the Milken Educator Network, a rich resource of educators and other influential leaders accessible to fellow teachers, legislators, school boards, and others who are shaping the future of education.  Illinois joined the Milken Educator Awards program in 1988 and to date 107 educators across the state have been named National Educators.