OREGON – Oregon High School teacher Aaron Sitze was presented with the Illinois Principal Association’s (IPA) Teacher Leadership Award for the organization’s Northwest Region at last night’s Board of Education meeting.
Sitze is one of only three teachers in the Northwest Region, which consists of six Illinois counties and more than two hundred schools, to receive the Teacher Leadership Award. The award was presented by the region’s treasurer and Ashton-Franklin Center principal Trina Dillon.
Sitze received the nomination for taking on increased initiatives to enhance education throughout the district, including efforts to help develop critical thinking and hands-on curriculum for students. He was one of several teachers and district members who helped develop OCUSD’s Open Program and is currently working with local community businesses to develop a Social Entrepreneurship course at the high school.
The award is one of several earned by Sitze during his teaching career. In 2013, he was named a Teacher of the Year finalist by the Illinois State Board of Education through the ‘Those Who Excel’ program – an annual state-sponsored program to honor outstanding educators throughout Illinois.
“I would equate Aaron’s performance as teacher to anyone who has risen to the top echelon of his/her profession. Watching him get the best out of kids is nothing short of amazing.” said OHS Principal Andrew Nelson.
A native of Wheaton, Ill., Sitze is spending his 14th year teaching English at OHS. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in History and Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction from Northern Illinois University. Sitze is continuing his education at NIU as he’s currently taking courses for a doctoral degree. In addition to teaching English and pursuing a doctorate, Sitze also authored The Andrew Jackson Stories (Lockjaw Press, 2016) and recently appeared on WNIJ Northern Public Radio to talk about his book.
He currently lives in Oregon with his wife and two sons and daughter.