University of Chicago Names Green Valley High School Teacher an Outstanding Educator

Thane Webb loves to teach science. And that may be an understatement.

The Green Valley High School teacher’s enthusiasm was so influential on former student Robyn Myers that Myers – now a student at the University of Chicago – nominated him for the University of Chicago Outstanding Educator Award.

The award is given to educators who have influenced, challenged or helped University of Chicago students along the path toward intellectual growth, and Webb was selected as one of the 2017 winners.

“An award like this, where it came from a student who thought highly of me, means a lot to me,” Webb said. “It’s humbling to realize how much of an impact you can have on someone else’s life.”

According to Myers’ nomination form, one thing stood out about Webb’s teaching style: the unwritten curriculum of helping young people develop into adults. Webb cared for each student’s needs, taught them how to advocate for themselves and how to develop a work ethic that fits them.

Webb teaches the material in a way applicable to life and not solely for test preparation. It was those traits in addition to teaching the Advanced Placement curriculum that Myers found helpful from Webb.

“Knowing I can help another human on this planet move forward and live a life of curiosity and imagination is what makes teaching science worth my effort,” said Webb. “Really, it’s the students that make the choice to pursue their dreams. I’m just glad I can be there to help them do that.”