Greg Solomon with his high school speech class.

Greg Solomon, DeKalb High School humanities teacher, is the 2023 Wirtz Award for Excellence in Education recipient. Solomon was surprised with the honor at his school on April 13 during one of his speech classes. 

 

Established in 1989 to honor the memory of William Wilbur Wirtz, (1887-1965), Alfa White Wirtz (1883-1931), and Jeann Sohner Wirtz (1902-1985), the award has been presented each year by the Wirtz Foundation.

 

The Wirtz Award encourages high standards of innovative achievement that bring quality to a public school system and vitality to a community. It is made available annually to recognize the distinguished service of outstanding individuals currently employed by DeKalb School District 428 who raise young people’s sights or promote a program or organization that lifts a student’s sense of human values and purpose.

 

Greg Solomon, 2023 Wirtz Award winner with former student and nominator James Zucker

Greg Solomon with James Zucker, a former student and now colleague, who was one of his nominators for the award.

“Being nominated for the Wirtz award was a true honor,” said Solomon. “There are so many amazing educators here at DeKalb High School and throughout the district, that it is humbling to receive this recognition. Perhaps the most rewarding aspect is being nominated by a former student who is now a colleague. We become teachers to make an impact in students’ lives, and to be nominated by a former student indicates that at least at some level, and at least for this one individual, that goal has been achieved.”

 

Solomon, who, along with teaching, also serves as the high school’s forensic’s program head coach, a position he began more than 30 years ago while he was still student teaching. Solomon is credited with establishing the forensics program as one of the top programs in the state. He has also been active in the schools theater department and is currently the Area Coordinator fo Humanities, helping the department move forward with curriculum and instruction development. 

 

Selection of the Wirtz Award was made by educators nominated and recommended by current District 428 staff and was based on the nominee’s ability to positively influence, motivate and inspire students. The 2023 nominees for the Wirtz Award for Excellence in Education are Alexondrea Koester (Lincoln Elementary Teacher), Bethany Ray (Clinton-Rosette MS Teacher), Greg Solomon (DHS Teacher), George (Sid) Stratton (DHS Security), and Emily Weller (Elementary Instructional Coach- Littlejohn/Jefferson Elementary).

 

Solomon will be presented with the Wirtz Award plaque and honorarium at the Board of Education Meeting on May 2, 2023.

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