Outstanding Educator Awards


For three decades, we have invited entering first-years to nominate an educator who has changed them, challenged them, or helped them along the path toward intellectual growth. Every year, the University of Chicago receives letters from hundreds of admitted students, inspired by teachers who have literally changed the course of their lives. In recognition of their profound influence, the Office of College Admissions grants the Outstanding Educator Award to teachers who have demonstrated exceptional dedication to the education and mentorship of their students. True learning is a collaborative experience that requires patience, selflessness, and passion . We are proud to celebrate the accomplishments of all our Outstanding Educators!

Excerpts from Students on Previous Outstanding Educators

While some of the other teachers rushed through the challenging material, Mr. Cocoros explained calculus in detail, teaching intricate proofs as to why everything worked the way it did. In his teaching technique, he mimics one of the most popular phrases used at The University of Chicago: “That’s all well and good in practice…but how does it work in theory?

Student: Melissa W.
Class of 2016
Teacher: Mr. Jim Cocoros
Stuyvesant High School
New York, NY

Mr. Bray helps his students take each piece of history and determine its place in the whole continuum – its origins, its relevance, its degree of importance to future happenings. No longer did we just learn about, for instance, the difference between Athens and Sparta; we were also taught how said differences came about, how they were reflective of the general social/economic/political characteristics of Greece as a whole during the Ancient times, and how it would influence the development of Greek (and even foreign) culture and politics in the future. Mr. Bray, to put it in a briefer fashion, is outstanding in that he helps his students see the whole picture.

Student: Ike M.
Class of 2016
Teacher: Timothy Bray
Westwood High School
Austin, TX

I had Dr. Lorey for an ethics class, and to be blunt, I doubt I will have an educator as skilled as he was ever again. To be able to explain Kant to a room of 17 and 18 year olds in such a way that we understood the categorical imperative is, well, astounding. What’s more, he constantly fostered critical thinking and analysis in class discussions in a very novel way—he constantly threw situations at us and forced us to analyze those situations through the lens of whoever we were studying.

Student: Evan R.
Class of 2016
Teacher: Dr. Eric Lorey
Cranbrook Kingswood School
Bloomfield Hills, MI