Press Release: 08-22-2011
Waukegan High School teacher Mr. Charles Gutman has been honored with the prestigious “Distinguished Alumni Award” from the Chicago area chapter of Teach for America.
A 10-year veteran at WHS, Mr. Gutman was honored by Teach for America for his “extraordinary leadership and significant achievement in expanding educational opportunity for children.” Mr. Gutman is a social studies and Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) College Readiness instructor at the high school.
Teach for America is a national group that recruits recent college graduates to work as educators in underserved communities. The group’s alumni award recognizes teachers and community members who have graduated from the program and continue to make meaningful impact in children’s lives. Mr. Gutman participated in the program in the early 1990s. Following his graduation from Oberlin College in Ohio, he spent two years as an English as a Second Language (ESL) instructor at Compton High School in Compton, California. Mr. Gutman later earned Master’s degrees from Harvard University and Stanford University before teaching in the Boston area, and later in Waukegan.
Since joining the staff at Waukegan High School, Mr. Gutman has helped transform the academic futures and lives of many WHS students in the AVID program. He has been recognized for helping 90 percent of his students increase their grade point averages, for helping 100 percent of his students move on to honors and advanced placement classes. A number of his former students touted Mr. Gutman’s merits in letters of recommendation and support to the Teach for America Distinguished Alumni selection committee.
“I just felt a tremendous satisfaction and pride when I was notified that I was selected as a Distinguished Alumni,” said Mr. Gutman. “Teach for America has certain values about creating more educational opportunities for underprivileged students and for closing the achievement gap. I feel I have been very dedicated to a lot of the core values that they stand for.”
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