Stillman Valley High School teacher honored


STILLMAN VALLEY – Bill Polasky, Stillman Valley High School Social Science teacher, has received the University of Chicago Outstanding Educator Award.

He was nominated by Nate Youman, SVHS 2021 Graduate, who now attends University of Chicago. Youman said in his letter to Mr. Polasky, “Your positive attitude and passion for your craft is always astounding to me, and I hope I invest myself in my legal career as much as you invested yourself in teaching.”

Polasky teaches US History 1, AP US History, Government, AP Government and Sociology at SVHS.  He is a nationally recognized APUSH teacher, was a finalist for IL Teacher of the Year in 2018 and was selected for the Teach Plus IL Teaching Policy Fellowship in 2019.  He is also a coach for the SVHS Cardinal Football team.  

“We are all thrilled that Bill has been honored in this way,” said Superintendent Dr. PJ Caposey. “I truly believe that he is worthy of this tremendous honor. Not only is he an outstanding teacher, but also an influential leader among his peers – both within Meridian and in the national landscape for US History teachers. He truly is exemplary in many ways.”

An Outstanding Educator shapes young minds in meaningful ways – thoughtfully approaching instruction, sharing an infectious love for learning, and caring for students both inside and outside of the classroom. Each year, newly admitted UChicago students have the opportunity to reflect on their time in school and nominate an educator who played a significant role in their education, made a positive impact in their lives, and whose influence has brought them to where they are today.

The University of Chicago is honored to recognize excellence in teaching and sincerely congratulates this year’s Outstanding Educator Award winners, who are exceptional in their field and role models for all students. The University deeply appreciates the lively minds who thirst for knowledge that these educators have nurtured and inspired. UChicago thanks them for going above and beyond the call of duty every day and leaving an impression that will be carried over a lifetime.  All award winners receive a commemorative award, certificate, and letter that includes details from the student by whom they were nominated.