Each year, the University of Chicago gives newly admitted students across the country the opportunity to nominate a teacher from their high school for the University of Chicago’s Outstanding Educator Award.
This year, UChicago recognizes three teachers from The Hun School of Princeton.
Amy Wright, chair of the Computer Science and Engineering Department and Upper School computer science teacher, was nominated by Mei von Kaenel, Class of 2021.
Kyle Bucy, faculty in the English Department at the Upper School, teaching English and philosophy, was nominated by Pedro Poli, Class of 2021.
Joel Michalchuk, faculty in the Performing Arts Department of the Upper School and Middle School, was nominated by William Hu 2021.
Wright notes that receiving this award is something she will cherish forever.
“This is the greatest honor I have ever received in my twenty-one years in the classroom,” she said in a statement provided by The Hun School. “It is one thing for your peers and supervisors to recognize your abilities, but to learn of the impact that I had on a student’s experience and the path beyond is so humbling.”
Bucy explains that this type of validation is exactly what he needed after teaching through a pandemic and a year-and-a-half of virtual school.
“Last year was so difficult, there were so many days where it was so hard and some things felt like they just weren’t working,” he said in the statement. “But knowing that what I was doing actually was working and it left enough of an impression on Pedro to actually nominate me for this is truly so meaningful. It’s far more meaningful than any other type of recognition a teacher could get.”
As William’s teacher since he attended the Hun Middle School, Michalchuk notes that he is flattered that William was paying attention all of those years to his teaching pedagogy.
“I always try to create a classroom environment that is relaxed and where students feel comfortable to be excited about their passion for music,” he said in the statement. “Over the years, I’ve been able to witness first hand William’s growth as a student and as a performer. Over the years, we spent a lot of time together practicing, sharing new music, and creating. I’m really grateful to have had a student like him and I am so flattered that he considers me an outstanding educator.”