For the third time in seven years, a member of the Morgan Park Academy faculty has received the University of Chicago Outstanding Educator Award for excellence in teaching and mentorship.

Lynsey Panek, who teaches high school chemistry and human anatomy, was recognized for this national award after being nominated by Charles Hendon, a University of Chicago freshman who graduated from MPA last spring.

Panek is in her fifth year as a member of the Morgan Park Academy faculty.

“This is a well-deserved recognition for Lynsey,” Upper School principal Tom Drahozal said. “Lynsey has a passion for learning that is contagious for her students. We are very proud of her efforts to have a rigorous and challenging curriculum for her students.”

In addition to receiving Outstanding Educator Awards in 2015 and 2017, MPA faculty in recent years have been among a select number of Chicagoland teachers chosen to receive the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom and as a finalist for a Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Outstanding Educator Award recipients are selected annually from nominations submitted by hundreds of University of Chicago admitted students, “inspired by teachers who have literally changed the course of their lives through excellent teaching and mentorship,” the university said in announcing the awards.

“In recognition of their profound influence, the Office of College Admissions grants the Outstanding Educator Award to teachers who have demonstrated exceptional dedication to the education and personal development of their students. True learning is a collaborative experience that requires patience, selflessness, and passion. We are proud to celebrate the incredible work of all our Outstanding Educators!”