The Dunham School is pleased to announce that Mitch McIlwain '94 is the 2020 recipient of The Liz Peters Master Teacher Award, presented during the Commencement Ceremony held June 13, 2020 at Healing Place Church.
The Liz Peters Master Teacher Award is named for the late Liz Peters, a master teacher herself, and the school's first employee. This award recognizes outstanding teaching at The Dunham School, with the intent to inspire excellence in the classroom and ensure the employment and retention of Master Teachers, in order to form a nucleus of strong teaching faculty for the school's future.
"It is very humbling. We have some amazing teachers at Dunham, and I have learned so much from them that it is hard to consider myself a “master teacher,” McIlwain said. "God called me into teaching, and I am just trying to honor Him by loving my students and sharing Christ inside and outside of the classroom and on the athletic fields. I absolutely love my job and am honored to be recognized in this way."
"When alumni return to the School for special events, they often seek to reconnect with Mr. McIlwain as one of their favorite teachers from Upper School, recalling his great teaching and coaching, but also his wise counsel," said LaPlace. "His academic and spiritual foundation was established as a student here at Dunham, and he continually seeks to positively influence students in the same way he was influenced by his Dunham teachers. He is such a wonderful role model, and we are so blessed to have him as a Master Teacher. "
McIlwain has faithfully served the school as a faculty member and coach for more than 20 years. A Dunham alumnus, he was the 1994 Salutatorian and was recently inducted into Dunham's Athletic Hall of Fame.
He decided to become a teacher because of his passion for history and the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of students in the classroom and on the athletic fields. McIlwain earned his Master's degree in Education from LSU, and joined the Dunham faculty in 2000. During his tenure, he has taught a combination of American History, AP United States History, and AP American Government.
His calm and quiet demeanor outside of the classroom belies his lively and energetic personality and delivery inside of the classroom, garnering a reputation for outstanding teaching that makes history come alive for students in a way that is both exciting and memorable.
A leader among faculty, McIlwain has also served as the History Department Chair for the past 17 years, mentoring new faculty, supervising the implementation of the departmental curriculum, as well as the school's academic strategic plan goals. He serves on the Upper School Council, the Academic Council, is a Service Mentor in Dunham's Institute of Leadership, as well as a Huddle Leader for the school's FCA Program, holding weekly Bible Study with our male athletes.
This teacher never tires of investing in students inside and outside of the classroom, coaching Dunham baseball for 10 years, football for 20 years, and boys golf for 10 years.
Congratulations to Mitch McIlwain '94 for this well-deserved recognition.