Seventh-grader and contest-winner Alex Moore beams as he displays the 00 Office Depot gift certificate prize before presenting it to Chute social workers Teresa Quinn (far left) and Randy Barrengos (second from right). Principal Jim McHolland (second from left) and language arts teacher Mike Roche look on.

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Michael Roche, a language arts and reading teacher at Chute Middle School, was named Teacher of the Week at the Chicago Bears game on Dec. 4. The award was sponsored by WBBM Newsradio 78 and St. Xavier University.

In October, Alex Moore, a seventh-grader at Chute, submitted an essay to enter the contest in support of Mr. Roche. Mr. Roche is a second-career teacher whose first career was advertising and marketing with a Fortune 50 company. He lives in Evanston and his two sons attended Evanston schools. He turned his prize, a $500 Office Depot gift certificate, over to Chute Social Worker Randy Barrengos to administer to students needing supplies and materials throughout the year, saying he felt that this was the appropriate place for his award.

Mr. Roche said, “Alex is a top notch student leader who is a pleasure to have in class.  I was shocked to hear he had taken his personal time to thank a teacher simply for doing his job.”  

He continued “I think it reflects the whole community because everyone here in Evanston, parents, administrators, teachers, and students work hard together to make our schools special.  It is very gratifying when a parent, or especially a student, takes the time to say thank you to a teacher.  But, that’s why teachers here work especially hard, because we do get the support of our involved parents, the District, and at Chute, our Principal Jim Mcholland and Assistant Principal Ann Riemenschneider.  Teaching in Evanston and at Chute is a pleasure.”