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This past school year was unlike any other. From the classroom to e-learning at home, students had to quickly adjust to a new normal.

But one constant is the educators who helped guide them through.

Among the teachers WGN honored this past year, some used encouraging words. Others poised powerful questions to engage their students.

“If we could bring the founding fathers in here, what do you think they would say about today?” September honoree Dan Uniek said.

But all had one common denominator, passion.

“I’ve wanted to be an educator my entire life and I absolutely love it,” said January honoree Erika Hamilton. “It is the greatest career path.”

Each honoree received a $1,000 check from award sponsor Ken Allen.

“I think their role in our society is under recognized and undervalued and I feel it’s appropriate to try to let them know that we really do appreciate what they do,” Allen said.

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