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
  • Sound of music alive in Mr. Weible’s class

    CHICAGO — Our teacher of the month’s classroom is alive with the sound of music. Arturs Weible is the music teacher at Chopin Elementary School in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood He’s WGN-TV’s Teacher of the Month.

  • Ms. Ledbetter has students focus on the world around them

    NORTHFIELD — When we caught up with our June Teacher of the Month, she was sitting in the school auditorium taking in the last student assembly of the just ending school year. Toward the end  of the assembly, or chapel, as it is officially called, Sharon Ledbetter found herself on stage receiving a $1000 check from Saint Xavier University and a certificate naming her WGN TV’s Teacher of the Month for a job well done! Sharon Ledbetter is a Language Arts […]

  • Her students say Ms Lonergan is ‘more than just a teacher’

    Our teacher of the month is a biology instructor here at St Ignatius College Prep, but her connection with her students goes beyond the classroom. Ms Maureen Lonergan, teacher of the month: “I go to their improv shows and their sports games and their dances and their talent shows, and I’m impressed with them.” Maureen Lonergan, who herself was once upon a time a student at St. Ignatius, has been teaching at the westside school for six years now and […]

  • History teacher with boundless energy, classroom full of artifacts has big fan base

    ST. JOHN, Ind.– Our teacher of the month is a history buff, and his students are reaping the benefits. Tristan Pintor, student: “Kids usually don’t like history, and they don’t because it’s boring, but how he teaches is incredible.” Tom Clark, Teacher of the Month: “You know history is boring so my goal is to change their attitude.” Tom Clark has been teaching history at Lake Central High School in St. John Indiana for 30 years. His student fan base, […]

  • Mrs Hayes’s creativity in adaptive PE gives students a voice: Teacher of the Month

    ST CHARLES, Ill — WGN’s Teacher of the Month belongs to that special breed of educators who takes students with special needs off the sidelines and eases them into the game. Shari Hayes is an adaptive physical ed instructor at St Charles North High School in suburban St Charles. Tenth grader Jack McGraw is one of her students. It was jack who brought her to our attention. Jack McGraw: “Mrs Hayes is the most fantastic teacher in the world. She’s […]

  • February Teacher of the Month: Scott Pasek

    EVERGREEN PARK, Ill — This month’s honoree is a business teacher at south suburban Evergreen Park Community High School. His name is Scott Pasek. The student who nominated Pasek says he is a teacher who is making a difference. How much of a difference and how, she tells us in her own words. Emily Radgowski, nominating student at Evergreen Park Community High School: “Before I took Mr Pasek’s business principles class, I had no idea where I wanted to go […]

  • Teacher of the Month: Alex Polanco

    In this computer driven world, our teacher of the month encourages his students to give their computers a rest — and get their hands dirty. WGN’s Teacher of the Month is Alex Polanco.  He’s an art teacher at Keller Junior High in northwest suburban Schaumburg. The Clay Project — dirty hands and all — is just one of many activities he uses to tap into his students creative abilities. Alex Polanco, Teacher of the Month: “I consider myself an acoustic art teacher, […]

  • December Teachers of the Month

    From the mock apartment to the kitchen, the curriculum at Turning Pointe Career College in west suburban Naperville is hands on. A product of the Turning Pointe Foundation, the career college is an innovative educational institution for post-secondary school students impacted by autism. Teachers Jason Crist and Amy Wagner help their students learn valuable life and social skills. The students’ job training takes place in a simulated drug store, where the shelves are stocked with actual products. They practice at the cash […]

  • November Teacher of the Month: Dr. Daniel Oswald

    Our November Teacher of the Month graduated from Glenbrook South High School in 1992. After earning his PhD he took a job as a university professor in Florida, where he remained until the very teacher who taught him English and radio Broadcasting at Glenbrook South High School contacted him, told him she was retiring and asked him to consider coming back and taking over the program that he, as a student all those years ago, so enjoyed. Dr. Daniel Oswald […]

  • October Teacher of the Month: Nakisha Lee

    October Teacher of the Month teaches at Simeon Career Academy on Chicago’s South Side. Her students say she is making a difference. Nakisha Lee teaches business education and accounting. A long time ago Ms Lee was where her students are now. She herself was a student at Simeon majoring in the same course she now teaches. Like so many of her students she says she remembers needing help and having a teacher who came to her rescue. WGN’s Muriel Claire […]