Illinois Teacher of the Year goes to Schaumburg English teacher, coach

Brian Curtin, 33, wins state's top honor

October 23, 2012

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(Illinois State Board of Education)
Brian Curtin, 33, teaches English at Schaumburg High School, coaches LaCrosse and football, and serves on a faculty leadership team called the Saxon Pride.

State education officials announced that 33-year-old Brian Curtin is Illinois’ Teacher of the Year.

Curtin teaches English at Schaumburg High School in North West Suburban District 211.

Schaumburg High School Principal Tim Little didn’t hire Curtin, but he inherited him six years ago. 

“My first impressions were, I need about 300 more of him,” Little said. “He brings high energy, initiative, creativity, innovation, all those things that are key in our world of education, which is constantly changing."

Curtin says he was flattered by Little’s comments, but credits his colleagues too. 

“Teaching is not a solitary endeavor,” he said Monday after school. “It’s something that involves a whole community of people.”

Curtin was honored by the Illinois State Board of Education at a dinner Saturday night. In a statement, State Superintendent Christopher Koch said Curtin “is one of those inspirational teachers who make creative and engaging lesson plans look easy and leads through example and self-discipline.”

Curtin coaches football and LaCrosse at Schaumburg High School and is part of a faculty leadership team that focuses on creating a positive culture at the school.

At an all-school assembly yesterday, Principal Little said Curtin wanted the trophy to go to everyone at the school—the students, the faculty and the administrators.

As part of the award, Curtin, a graduate of the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign, receives a lifetime tuition waiver to all state universities.