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Teachers on the Move—Proviso West Teacher Receives International Recognition

Ms. Suwary has taught chemistry and physics in the same classroom at Proviso West High School for 16 years. She knew she loved teaching. She knew she loved her students, but she did not know she would receive international recognition for her contributions as an educator.

Ms. Suwary was recently awarded a Ministry of National Education Medal from Poland. She was nominated by teachers from the Polish School in Schaumberg where she has served over the years as a volunteer teacher, a principal, and a board member. Though Ms. Suwary has been teaching at Proviso for 16 years, she also taught in Poland for three years, in Greece for two years, and at the Emilia Plater Polish School here in Illinois. She also worked with the University of Poland to develop a textbook for sixth graders, all while pursuing her Doctorate degree in Curriculum and Instruction at Argosy University. Still, when Ms. Suwary got notification from Poland, she was shocked and very emotional.

“It was emotional for me because when I was a kid my mother was a teacher [in Poland] and she got this same award,” she said. “It is great to be recognized for all of the work I’ve put into the education of kids. I was really surprised because I didn’t even know that I could get an award from Poland. I didn’t know it was possible. I just love kids. I love to teach. So, being given a medal like this is a huge honor and a privilege.”

Ms. Suwary’s Proviso West students say it was well deserved.

“She is a great teacher,” said Proviso West junior Amutul Humaira. “She is so inspiring. She’s so motivating. She works really hard. She works to make the world a better place for everyone.”

“We’re very proud of her,” said Proviso West senior Vanessa Zepeda. “She deserves it, and she deserves many more.”

Many more may come. Ms. Suwary was also nominated by students with the Congressional Youth Leadership Council as Most Inspiring Teacher.

Congratulations Ms. Suwary! You are a vital part of Proviso Rising!

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