2012 Teachers of the Year Announced

CRFC would like to congratulate the 2012 Law-Related Education Teachers of the Year!  On October 26, CRFC presented the Edward J. Lewis II and the Barbara O’Donnell Teacher of the Year Awards to two deserving candidates.  Each award recognizes outstanding educators for their commitment to the craft of teaching, competence in their field, concern for student development, encouragement of student’s ability to think critically, leadership among their colleagues, and general efforts to promote civic learning.

Keith Matune (left)
Barabara O’Donnell High School Teacher of the Year

Tony Pugh (right)
Edward J. Lewis II Elementary Teacher of the Year


The Barbara O’Donnell Award was presented to Keith Matune from Lake Park High School in Roselle. Everyone who reviewed Mr. Matune’s nomination letters were moved by their content.  One of his previous students wrote, “Mr. Matune’s teaching style commanded my attention, like no other teacher I had in high school, by engaging his students with in-depth conversations about important or controversial topics involving the law, government or current events. More important than any particular lesson that was taught, I felt as though what I had to say mattered immensely to him, and it did. He would encourage students to go beyond their comfort zone, to constantly question, and make deeper, personal connections to the material being covered. Through his teaching, it was clearly evident Mr. Matune had a passion for the law and that the democratic process is very close and dear to his heart. Anyone that talks to him for more than a minute will quickly realize that this man doesn’t just teach material to students, he makes it come alive! Further, he models what he teaches because he genuinely believes in the virtues and principles that have shaped our wonderful country.

The Edward J. Lewis II Award was presented to Tony Pugh from Woods Math and Science Academy in Chicago.  One of Mr. Pugh’s nominators said, “Mr. Pugh’s students pose sophisticated questions and appear to truly enjoy exploring constitutional law issues. It has been my observation that Mr. Pugh's dedication and commitment to having the CRFC program in his classroom has benefitted his students by exposing them to role models and new ideas that other students at the school may not have.”

The awards were presented at the 2012 Illinois Law-Related Education Conference held on October 26 at the McDonald’s campus in Oak Brook, Illinois.  The winners were presented with a plaque and a monetary award to continue law-related education activities in their classrooms.