Illinois Teacher Praised for His Dedication Even After Horrible Loss
A grief-stricken daughter wrote us the most wonderful letter nominating her father for a special teacher recognition after both of them lose the anchor of their family.
Before you lose all of your eye makeup reading the letter we're sharing, let me start by congratulating...
97ZOK's Teacher of the Week
Randy "Mr. Mac" McClellan from Harlem Middle School in Machesney Park, Illinois.
Mr. Mac was nominated by his daughter Emily, she writes:
I would like to nominate my father, Randy McClellan. My Dad has been in education in the area for over the last 30 years. He retired 5 years ago from Townview Elementary in Beloit, WI, where he was a principal for several years. After he retired, he couldn’t deny his passion and went back into teaching Special Education. He is currently teaching Special Education at Harlem Middle School where he devotes his heart and passion for education every day to his students. From playing math baseball to even offering his own car to the student that can solve one of his riddles, he always finds a way to make learning fun. Over the last 30 years, my dad has done everything from teaching, administration, tutoring, volunteering at after-school events, and coaching several sports teams throughout our community. To me, my dad is a ROCKSTAR! I wanted to nominate him for Teacher of the Week with 97ZOK, as I believe he is truly the definition of an AMAZING educator.
About 3 weeks ago, the love of his life, my mother lost her battle with pancreatic cancer. She was his biggest cheerleader and supporter through all his professional and personal decisions. Throughout all of my mom's treatments, surgeries, and highs, and lows, my dad always stood by her side. Despite what was stacked against them, they continued to make plans about their future and all the adventures they were going to go on to keep her hope alive. They are truly just like the couple in the movie ""UP""
During this entire time, he never skipped a beat at work. He would schedule her treatments during his lesson planning period, or on his lunch break. He then would return to finish the day or stay up late working on what he missed. On days he was unable to work because of the care my mom needed, you could find him glued to his laptop making sure the sub had adequate lesson plans and that his students were continuing to turn in their work on time. No matter what life was throwing at him, my dad made himself available to his students and parents at all times.
My dad lives and breathes education. So much he inspired me to become a teacher and I actually won Teacher of the Week last year. After my mom passed, our whole worlds were turned upside down instantly, but despite the pain, he only took a few days to collect his thoughts and went right back into teaching. When I asked him if he was ready to go back, he said "" My kids need me.""
Every year I ask if he will finally retire, but he always says, “I will just do one more year.” If anyone deserves Teacher of the Week, heck maybe even Teach of the Year it would be my dad. So, I am asking, please can 97ZOK make him Teacher of the Week just one time before he finally retires?
As Teacher of the Week, Randy was surprised with a cake from Nothing Bundt Cakes and a gift card to WM Day Spa Salon.
Click HERE to nominate your favorite to be 97ZOK's Teacher of the Week.