Dennis Kass, who completed his secondary teacher certification in history/social studies in the Daniel L. Goodwin College of Education at Northeastern Illinois University in 2008, has been honored with a 2016 Golden Apple Award.
The award recognizes outstanding teachers in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake and Will counties. This year’s class of winners was honored May 20 with an awards celebration and dinner at WTTW. The event was later broadcast on TV.
“The Golden Apple award reflects my commitment to the very students who inspire me every day with their continued resilience, capacity to chase their dreams, and dedication to their own community. My work honors a partnership with a community that has welcomed me into their lives, working with me to support even the most struggling, at-risk students and their families,” said Kass, who teaches Sociology at Little Village - Infinity Math, Science, and Technology High School in Chicago. Kass also will teach a History/Social Studies Methods class in Northeastern’s Secondary Education program in the fall.
According to the Golden Apple website, Kass “is known for using contemporarily relevant content and instruction to engage students in meaningful social studies curriculum.”
The Golden Apple Awards also praises Kass, who earned a law degree from DePaul University, for providing free legal service to families in the school community who are experiencing homelessness and domestic violence. Kass founded the Chicago Law and Education Foundation, a nonprofiit legal-aid organization that provides free legal services at 17 Chicago Public Schools high schools.
“With a reputation for going above and beyond for his students in need as well as their families, Dennis Kass models the Goodwin College of Education’s conceptual framework and embodies the values of Northeastern Illinois University,” said Maureen Gillette, Dean of the Daniel L. Goodwin College of Education. “We are proud of all of our alumni, and it’s particularly satisfying to see dedicated teachers such as Dennis publically honored for their years of hard work and sacrifice.”