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First of all, this website is dedicated to my students--thanks for your hard work this year and making teaching such an enjoyable and rewarding profession!  Here's to a great school year of learning about how the world works around you and exploring together the inner workings of the universe around us!

There are many, many folks I'd like to give thanks to for helping me grow in my teaching career, without which I'd be completely lost--if I forgot someone I apologize in advance and I'll be sure to add you on as soon as I remember!

From North Central College, I'd like to thank Carolyn Campbell and Gene Drendel, our supervising professors who shaped us into new teachers from being college students and showing us great patience and kindness.

Also special thanks to Dr. Stephen Renk, Computer Science Department, for mentoring and sponsoring me when I had the first crazy idea of putting these computers to good use for education and writing a Richter Independent Fellowship grant--thanks for putting up with me and the chaos that ensued!

From my days at Naperville Central I'd like to thank Allan Etzbach, my high school physics teacher and mentor when I first started teaching, for getting me interested in science and teaching in the first place and for always taking time out of his busy day to give me a hand as well as showing me how cool physics is!  I was also fortunate to have the great Jim Szeszol and Bill West as mentors who showed me the "tricks of the trade" as well as modeled  the power of a good story and their infinite creativity in making learning relevant and fun.  Thanks also to Nick DiGiovanni for modeling what it means for the 'big picture' of teaching and how it ties in with the rest of your life and family--I'm lucky enough I still get to work with Nick every so often at Packer Engineering.

As a new teacher, I was fortunate to meet the celebrated Paul Hewitt at Fermi Lab and attend his excellent workshop on teaching conceptual physics, and I was also mentored by Tim Kulak at West Aurora High School through the C3P Program sponsored by the National Science Foundation.  For a few weeks in the summer of 1996 and throughout the school year, a group of physics teachers gathered at various high schools from throughout Chicagoland to learn from each other and Tim tips and tricks to improve our science teaching.  Thanks to Tim for his mentorship and tireless passion for excellence in science education.

Over several summers, I have been fortunate to work with the fine folks at Packer Engineering and their educational branch, the Packer Foundation.  Special thanks to Dr. Ken Packer for his tireless efforts and contributions to promoting science and mathematics education, Margaret Truax, Director of the Packer Foundation, and Dr. John Fildes, one of the most intelligent and passionate persons I have ever met.  For the past few years, I am thankful to work with John Nowicki, Director of Packer Aerospace and VP of Business Affairs, to run the Packer Wings Aviation Camp at Clow Airport in Bolingbrook, IL.

More thanks are due to the following individuals at Hinsdale Central for their professional support, contributions, and educational leadership:  Principal Michael McGrory, Science Department Chairperson Lisa Fernandez; Director of Technology Tim Hohman; Technology Specialists Tony Dotts, Julie Van Ness, and Eric Shade; and fellow physicists Dr. James Vetrone, Marv Breig, Anna Breig, and John Williams.

On a personal note, I'd like to thank Pastor Peter Park, my mom and dad, my beautiful wife, my 3 terrific kids, and the Creator of all life for believing in me and supporting me in my teaching endeavors.


Send mail to jliaw@hinsdale86.org with questions or comments about this web site.
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