ROSEMONT – Matthew Turek, instrumental music teacher and band director at Benjamin Middle School in West Chicago, has been selected by the Illinois Education Association (IEA) as its 2018 Teacher of the Year.

Turek was recognized for the honor on Thursday at the annual Representative Assembly of the IEA. Some 1,200 delegates, guests and state dignitaries attended the event at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare in Rosemont, Ill.

“In a relatively short amount of time, Matthew Turek has distinguished himself as an outstanding educator who gives his best to his students and to his school every day,” said IEA President Kathi Griffin.

“In just a year and a half as a classroom teacher, Matt has proven himself to be a staunch advocate for students and for his colleagues in the Benjamin Teacher Association. We are proud to honor him as our teacher of the year.”

The IEA Teacher of the Year award is named after former IEA President Bob Haisman.


The 135,000 member Illinois Education Association (IEA-NEA) is the state’s largest education employee’s organization. IEA represents preK-12 teachers outside of the city of Chicago and education support staff, higher education faculty, retired education employees and students preparing to become teachers, statewide.