There are SO many people within a school building that help make the school days run smoothly and successfully. From the front office, to the building and grounds team, every single person in a school is an essential part to the students' lives.

This week's Teacher of The Week nomination is really special. It's a story that might have you reaching for some tissues.

Rafael Chavez is part of the Hononegah High School Staff. He's an essential part of the Hononegah Building and Grounds team, and he went above and beyond and took a student under his wing. Which is why he was nominated and chosen as 97ZOK's Teacher of The Week.

Rafael was nominated by a couple teachers at Hononegah Jeanine Binger & Justin Wieman and the nomination letter reads -

Rafael has been a saving grace this year. Ryan is a student who participates in our 18-21 vocational transition program. At the end of the 2019/2020 school year Ryan had applied for and been accepted to the 2020/2021 Mercyhealth Project Search Internship program for his final year of school. THIS WAS A BIG OPPORTUNITY! This program was going to give him an on-site, hands on opportunity to learn real job skills. To no surprise, Covid had other plans and the Project Search program was forced to shut down for the current school year. Ryan, who I would like to add has always been a phenomenal student, was crushed. Getting him to school every day became a constant battle. He was ready for next, he was ready to feel like he made it to the next level and he had lost his purpose in school. After some creative thinking we approached Rafael. Rafael is part of the Hononegah Staff family and an essential part of the Hononegah Building and Grounds team. We asked Rafael if he would have any interest in taking Ryan on as a student intern and teaching him the ropes. With no hesitation, Rafael took Ryan under his wing and has never looked back. Each day Ryan and Rafael teach, explore and practice all of the essential skills that contribute to our safe and clean learning environment. Rafael not only teaches Ryan about what a dedicated employee looks like he has also modeled friendship, purpose and pride. Rafael and his team helped Ryan get his groove back and find his purpose and function in school once again. Without Rafael, Ryan could have gone down a very different path. Thank you Rafael for being the best teacher Ryan could ask for this year! You are appreciated.

When we talked to Rafael on the phone we got to see just how incredible of a person he is. We got to celebrate him some more with a delivery of a delicious cake from Nothing Bundt Cakes and a beautiful floral arrangement from Broadway Florist.


Thanks for all you do Rafael!

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