- Associated Press - Sunday, October 26, 2014

NORMAL, Ill. (AP) - An automotive technology teacher from suburban Chicago is the Illinois State Board of Education’s Illinois Teacher of the Year.

Steven Elza of William Fremd High School in Palatine was one of a dozen finalists for the honor. He was announced as this year’s top educator in the state on Saturday night at a banquet in Normal.

He was cited for building relationships with his students and making extraordinary efforts to support them in the classroom.

Elza graduated with bachelors and masters degrees from Southern Illinois University. He will spend the next year speaking at teaching workshops and conferences. He’ll also represent Illinois at NASA Space Camp and in the National Teacher of the Year program.

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