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University of Chicago names Wheeling teacher ‘Outstanding Educator’

Wheeling High School science teacher Dr. Greg Wallace poses with former student Christina Luna at WHS graduation ceremony.

Published January 11, 2024

The University of Chicago (U of C) welcomes its new students not only for their record of high school achievement and potential for higher education success. They also welcome students with an understanding that many incoming freshmen are thankful for all the support they’ve received along the way.

Which is why U of C created its Outstanding Educator Award. According to the university’s description, these teachers “...think carefully about their instruction. They share an infectious love for learning. They care about their students, both inside and outside the classroom. Outstanding educators go beyond everyday teaching and leave an impression that is carried over a lifetime.”

For Wheeling High School (WHS) graduate and U of C freshman Christina Luna, these criteria fit Dr. Gregory Wallace, who has taught science, including innovative approaches to nanotechnology, at WHS for the past decade.

For WHS Principal Dr. Bradford Hubbard, this recognition comes as no surprise. "Dr. Wallace is an incredible educator,” Dr. Hubbard said. “He is deeply committed to his craft and content area, spending countless hours at school to ensure that each lesson maximizes learning opportunities and outcomes for his students. Dr. Wallace creates an environment in his classroom that is caring, safe, nurturing and accessible for all learners.”

Not surprisingly, Dr. Wallace wants to focus more on the student and WHS’ learning environment than on his own role. “As a teacher, a big part of the job is convincing outstanding students that they can do outstanding things,” he said. “Christina is an outstanding person. As privileged as I felt to be her teacher, I feel incredibly honored to have Christina express the impact I've had in encouraging her to keep reaching for more. This award is a symbol of the countless, meaningful connections that happen between teachers and students at WHS every day that give us all fuel for the journey to be our best.”