Muriel Clair

Award-winning journalist Muriel Clair first joined WGN News in 1978. After 34 years at WGN, Muriel made the decision to move to part-time status in December of 2011. She now reports WGN-TV’s “Teacher of the Month,” in which WGN-TV recognizes outstanding local teachers for their achievements in the classroom.

Before working in news, Muriel taught English in Detroit and Kansas City public schools. She then began working in broadcasting at the NBC Kansas City affiliate WDAF-TV in the early 1970′s. While there, she won praise that earned her a spot at WMAQ-TV in Chicago to cover the education beat from the vantage point of an ex-teacher and an experienced journalist.

Muriel has received numerous awards for excellence in journalism. In May 2007, she was inducted into the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ Chicago Silver Circle, which honors individuals who have devoted 25 years or more to the television industry. In 2003, Muriel won the Broadcasters Award for African-American TV and Filmmakers. In 2002, The Northwestern University School of Law’s Center on Wrongful Convictions awarded Muriel for her “Journalistic Integrity and Work to Improve the Criminal Justice System.” Muriel was also awarded Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. Woman of the Year for “Outstanding Service” in the field of communication in 2000.

Muriel has served as a board member of the Marcy Newberry Association, a social service agency. She has actively worked with Child Services, a community-based organization that helps children reclaim and control their lives. She has also served on the board of the Free Street Theater and has been a mentor in the Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism program. Muriel is a member of the Chicago Association of Black Journalists. In addition to being recognized for Best Spot News reporting in 1999, Muriel had the distinction of being named as one of Today’s Chicago Woman’s “100 Women Who Make A Difference.” Muriel was chosen as the Chicago Park District’s 1994 Chicagoan of the Year for promoting Chicago’s youth through her “For Kids’ Sake” series. In 1993, Muriel won the Associated Press First Place Award for her work on the series, “My Brother’s Keeper.”

The Chicago Archdiocese has honored Muriel twice with the Cardinal’s Communicator Award. She was first honored in 1991 for her work on the series, “Families in Touch – Growing up Drug Free.” Muriel received her second recognition from the Archdiocese in 1993 again for her “For Kids’ Sake” reports.

She received the Silver Dome Award from the Illinois Broadcasters’ Association in 1991 for her series, “For Kids’ Sake.” Additionally, The Illinois Psychological Association awarded her its 1990 media award for her reports on mental health and for her commitment to children through the series, “For Kids’ Sake.”

Recent Articles
  • Suburban English teacher instills spirit of giving in students

    ROSELLE, Ill. — In the season of giving, WGN is honoring a teacher who instills that same spirit in her students all year long. It’s not a lesson that’s part of Darcie Murray’s official curriculum, but it’s one she’s spreading among her students. “Sometimes people just need a little help,” Ian Bostelman, a Lake Park High School student, said. And sometimes, it’s a fellow student. “I never really knew how many homeless families there were in our school, and once she […]

  • Science teacher connects with students in middle school classroom

    CHICAGO — November’s Teacher of the Month honoree is a science teacher, but the fact that he’s mastered the science of connecting with his students makes him stand out in his middle school classroom. It was Israel Martinez who seized the opportunity to recognize Daniel Taff’s teaching and his natural chemistry with the students at LaSalle II Magnet School on the city’s near northwest side. “He finds the right balance between work and play,” Martinez, a student, said. Taff roams the classroom with a purpose, making sure his […]

  • Adventure awaits P.E. students at suburban high school

    Getting his students outdoors and out of their comfort zone is part of the curriculum. This month’s Teacher of the Month honoree takes gym class to a new level. It’s adventure P.E. and it’s a confidence builder. Orlando Gonzalez teaches physical education at southwest suburban Bolingbrook High School  where he offers his students a break from the traditional. From weight lifting to fishing to archery, it’s a path the students can pick if they are up for a little adventure. […]

  • Teacher of the Month cultivates love for science in a no bullying zone

    With the new school year well underway, WGN’s Teacher of the Month is back, too.  We’re putting the spotlight on educators making a difference. The new season kicks off with a teacher who taps into her students’ natural curiosity to build their love for science. And for one student with a learning disability, his teacher’s formula proved to be a huge success. Ms Alison Schroeder is a 7th grade science at Memorial Junior High School in south suburban Lansing. “I […]

  • Middle school math with a side of dance party keeps students on their toes

    For Oak Lawn-Hometown Middle School teacher Melissa Rose, the most important formula is one that brings learning math full circle. Mrs. Rose is passionate about her work, and the results that follow have earned her a huge amount of praise and adoration from her students. “One of the big things with math, a lot of kids come in with the mind set and they say they’re good at math or they are bad at math, and I don’t believe that […]

  • Teacher’s workshop place for inspiration and support

    WGN’s Teacher of the Month provides his students with hands on experience in a classroom that may better be defined as a workshop. Richard Martin is a carpenter and cabinet making instructor at Chicago’s Prosser Career Academy. And with 33 years of teaching under his belt, he is a master at engaging his students and keeping them engaged. WGN’s Muriel Clair has more.

  • Kindness and caring just as important as reading and math in Miss Wood’s classroom

    Our Teacher of the Month teaches second grade in far northwest suburban Ingleside. Of course, reading, writing, math and science dominate her lesson plans, but it’s her kindness, caring and show of affection that’s having the most impact. Miss Wood’s personality shines through each day.  She puts a heavy emphasis on the importance of self-love and the love and affection for others. It’s part of the family-like atmosphere she’s created over the past 19 years at Gavin Central Elementary. In […]

  • Rhyme, reason, reading and language all part of Mr. Puc’s classroom

    NAPERVILL, Ill. — He brings unbridled and boundless energy to the classroom — and also a little rap. There’s rhyme and reason behind his technique and his students aren’t missing a beat. It’s a strategy that’s working in Martin Puc’s reading and language arts classroom at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic School in west suburban Naperville. For making a difference Puc was the recipient of one thousand dollars from Saint Xavier University’s School of Education.

  • Horticulture teacher shows students how to grow in more ways than one

      KIRKLAND, Ill. — Our teacher of the month, Joshua Dodge, is showing his students how to grow their own food. We got a taste of his hands-on curriculum while visiting Kirkland, a farming community about 65 miles from the city of Chicago. What we discovered in the school’s greenhouse was well worth the trip. Muriel Clair has the full story. If you are a student and you have a teacher who is making a difference, we want to hear […]

  • Choir teachers bring smile to students’ faces, song to their hearts

    Their collective voices sing in harmony, but it’s their teacher’s voice that resonates with the choir students at UIC Prep in Chicago. Student Nia Jordan nominated Kelsey Tortorice for Teacher of the Month consideration. Singing has struck a powerful note with the soft spoken sophomore and she says Ms. Tortorice was there for her during a difficult time. “When I lost a family member, my grandmother, I was going through a hard time. She would pull me aside and ask […]