Lake Zurich High School Student Media

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New AP Human Geography teacher with past history

Transitioning+to+LZHS+was+new+and+exciting+for+Kelly+Henkel%2C+new+social+studies+teacher%2C+because+he+is+now+able+to+accomplish+some+of+his+professional+goals+in+this+new+setting.+One+of+these+goals+being+to+utilize+the+technology+%22at+your+fingertips%22+to+create+a+better+learning+experience.+One+of+these+experiences+includes+using+online+resources+to+complete+a+maps+project.+
Transitioning to LZHS was new and exciting for Kelly Henkel, new social studies teacher, because he is now able to accomplish some of his professional goals in this new setting. One of these goals being to utilize the technology

Transitioning to LZHS was new and exciting for Kelly Henkel, new social studies teacher, because he is now able to accomplish some of his professional goals in this new setting. One of these goals being to utilize the technology "at your fingertips" to create a better learning experience. One of these experiences includes using online resources to complete a maps project.

Photo used with permission of pixabay.com

Photo used with permission of pixabay.com

Transitioning to LZHS was new and exciting for Kelly Henkel, new social studies teacher, because he is now able to accomplish some of his professional goals in this new setting. One of these goals being to utilize the technology "at your fingertips" to create a better learning experience. One of these experiences includes using online resources to complete a maps project.

Megan Monoson, Magazine Editor-in-Chief

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As one of the many new faces of the high school, this individual has known he has wanted to be a teacher since high school and now has the cards to prove it.

“I am the member of the Illinois Geography Association, so I am professionally a card-carrying nerd. It gives me totally street credit in the classroom,” Kelly Henkel, social studies teacher, said. “I rock climb, so I’m a geography teacher who also plays on geography. I’m a big outdoor geek. My wife and I, we try to go out west as much as we can [to] climb and hike in the mountains.”     

Though Henkel loves his career so much that he works with physical geography outside of the classroom, he says his students in the classroom are the best part of his job.  

“No matter where you go, teenagers are going to be teenagers. They’re going to have the same tendencies, and they’re going to have the same kind of shortcomings no matter where you go. But, that’s what I’m here for. I absolutely love teaching in that setting,” Henkel said. “I’ve taught middle school before. I’m good. I’m not going back. I’m going to stay in the high school setting. I really like working with students that are of this mindset and that are of this maturity level. The kids are the best part. Every day of the week is [just great]. The adults here are great, but the kids are even better.”

While Henkel views his students as great kids, Steve Jeretina, social studies department chair, who previously worked with Henkel, views Henkel as a great teacher when regarding his mentality about education.  

“The reason he got this position is because of his perspective on education and how he likes to interact with students and engage them in the learning process,” Jeretina said. “He’s very forward think[er]. He doesn’t take himself too seriously, but, at the same point in time, is very knowledgable about what he teaches: so, I thought he was a natural fit for what we were looking for. He is really the most qualified person to teach [AP Human Geography].”

While Jeretina believes Henkel is exceptional for his position, Henkel feels that he would be even more qualified when equipped with the right technology. Henkel says he is happy his career path brought him to a setting [Lake Zurich School District 95] so progressive both technologically and educationally, especially where every student has their own piece of technology.
“The Lake Zurich School District is very progressive with their technology, and that’s something that I’ve been looking to professionally develop myself with,” Henkel said. “I knew that a one-to-one setting here was a highly desirable position, and that if I had the opportunity I wouldn’t pass it up. So far, so good. I’m really really liking that you guys have the opportunity to have technology at your fingertips in the classroom. I think it’s a very powerful learning tool, and I’ve always wanted to teach in a setting where I can use those tools and help kids use those tools to learn. That was one of the major attractions for the job.”

Another attraction for Henkel was the fact he knew someone who worked here. After working briefly on a committee with Jeretina about five years ago for the Plainfield School District, Henkel says he hoped that relationship would help now accomplish his professional goals at LZHS.

“For the last several years I’ve had several technology initiatives that I’ve wanted to push in my own classroom and this year, with the help of people like Mr. Jeretina and Mr. Vossel, that’s actually becoming a reality for me professionally,” Henkel said. “It’s pretty awesome that I’ve come to a place that actually welcomes and encourages one of my professional goals. I’m pretty excited this year that I get to do some of those things and build upon those goals for the future.”

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New AP Human Geography teacher with past history