Sen. Wilcox launches ‘My Inspirational Teacher’ essay contest

Middle school, junior high students in 32nd Senate District eligible to compete

State. Sen. Craig Wilcox, R-McHenry, speaks to attendees during a groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday, June 16, 2021 for a new Mercyhealth hospital at the intersection of Three Oaks Road and Route 31 in Crystal Lake.

WOODSTOCK – To celebrate area teachers during Illinois’ Teacher Appreciation Week May 6-10, state Sen. Craig Wilcox, R-McHenry, is launching his first “My Inspirational Teacher” essay contest for middle school and junior high school students in the 32nd Senate District.

The contest offers students an opportunity to showcase their favorite teacher’s talents and explain how that teacher has made a special difference in their lives. Students are invited to write a 250- to 500-word essay about the teacher who has been the most inspirational to them in their educational journey thus far.

“Teachers make a profound difference in so many lives and I want to provide students with an opportunity to remind them of all the ways their favorite teacher inspires and motivates them,” Wilcox said in a news release. “I will always remember Mr. Hunt, my fourth grade teacher, who found a proclivity for math in myself and other students and challenged us daily, well beyond the math curriculum for fourth grade. That challenge set by Mr. Hunt drove a desire to excel, which he fostered all year long. I am confident that Mr. Hunts’ desire to teach, innovate and challenge his students brought out the best in all of us.”

When writing the essays, students should relay how a teacher’s specific actions made a positive impact and also outline the results of exactly how the teacher changed them as they continued through school. Each entry must include the child’s name, school and grade level and the teacher’s name, school and the subject taught. A panel of education leaders will read and evaluate the essays and will consider persuasiveness, correct spelling and grammar and adherence to contest instructions.

“Teachers serve as a role model that might not otherwise be available in some young people’s daily lives,” Wilcox said. “They aren’t just educators. They also often have to wear the hat of a mentor, a counselor or a friend. I can’t wait to read the entries for this inaugural essay contest.”

There will be several winning essays and the grand prize winning essay will be posted on Wilcox’s website ( Excerpts from all of the winning essays will be displayed for a week in the Capitol rotunda in Springfield.

The deadline for entries is April 30. Winners will be notified by email.

The 32nd Senate District includes all or portions of the following communities: Antioch, Bull Valley, Cary, Crystal Lake, Fox Lake, Island Lake, Johnsburg, Lake Villa, Lakemoor, Lakewood, Lindenhurst, McCullom Lake, McHenry, Oakwood Hills, Port Barrington, Prairie Grove, Richmond, Ringwood, Round Lake Beach, Spring Grove, Trout Valley, Volo, Woodstock and Wonder Lake.

For more information about the contest, contact Abby at or 248-930-8294.

Shaw Local News Network

Shaw Local News Network

Shaw Local News Network provides local news throughout northern Illinois