by Georgina Jaimes and Benjamin Pulido ( Seniors)
Lucas Kelleher is the proud winner of the Teacher of the Month Award.
Kelleher got his degree in Anthropology and History from the University of Minnesota- Twin Cities. He then started his teaching career in the Southside of Chicago.
Kelleher relocated to Senn because he read an article about how Senn changed and grew over the years and thought, “Wow, I would really like to work at a place like that.” He is now a Social Studies teacher for Senn and also the school’s Badminton coach.
Kelleher always thinks back to the time and energy his teachers have put into his life. He hopes to demonstrate those great intentions to his students, “I think teaching is very personal. For me, I went into it because I want to share all the things I learned throughout the course of my life, not just academically but socially and emotionally,” Kelleher said.
Kelleher was inspired to go into the educational field by his english teacher,“He forever impacted my life and thus I wanted to have that same impact on someone else. I want to guide them in the right direction.”
He shares, “one interesting thing about teaching is that it is always different every year. It’s easier but also harder. You’re dealing with so many things, who you work with, different students, but at the end it’s truly worth it.”
The best part of Kelleher’s day is seeing his students, but also his colleagues. He looks up to fellow teachers like Mrs.Mandelman, Ms. Paredes, and Ms. Kus. These teachers help and inspire him.
“I want to give all my students guidance. I feel some teachers approach things with the teacher mindset. For example, if a student comes in with a problem, I try to look at it from their eyes and try to remember when I was in their place. I help them from what I have experienced and I try not to have an objective viewpoint of the situation, that is what helps me become a real person. Rather than always being Mr. Kelleher, the Social Studies teacher, I’m also somebody who you can come and talk to.”
Mr. Kelleher has also been Senn’s Badminton coach for a year now. “It is such a heavy lift but I have a lot of fun. It is the biggest thing I am involved in,” he said. When asked if being a coach is like a teacher, Mr. Kelleher said, “I learned a lot of things from being a coach. The one thing you don’t necessarily see in the classroom that you see as a coach are the friendships that are formed. There were kids who really developed bonds. It is rewarding when you see it.”
Kelleher also shares his excitement with winning Teacher of the Month, “I’m glad I inherited the title from Ms. Kus ( previous winner). It is nice that teachers get recognized.”