Coal City teacher receives VFW award

Jim Hitchcock receives congratulations from VFW State Commander Jeff Hastings at the 18th District Awards Banquet held January 28 the New Lenox VFW Post.[]

Coal City Middle School Social Studies Teacher Jim Hitchcock was chosen as the VFW Department of Illinois 18th District Citizenship Education Teacher of the Year.

Jim was nominated for this recognition by St. Juvin Post 1336 Coal City for his dedication to the education of his students on the history of the United States and the sacrifices that our veterans have made to secure the freedoms that we enjoy.

Jim would know something of the sacrifices as he is an Army veteran and few, other than a veteran, would feel as deeply about commitment to the ideals that make this country great.

Jim originally contacted St. Juvin Post in 2011 asking about a veteran’s visit to his classes. This developed over the years into a presentation to the entire 550 or so middle school students, faculty and staff at an assembly around Veteran’s Day.

The VFW’s 18 District includes all of Grundy, Will, Kendall and part of DeKalb counties in Illinois and is comprised of 14 VFW Posts.

Jim’s selection now goes to the State level and possibly to the National judging for the Smart/Maher National VFW Citizenship Teacher of the Year.

The award recognizes one elementary, junior high and high school teacher with:

A $1,000 award for professional development expenses.

A $1,000 award for his/her school.

Two award plaques: one for the teacher, the other for his/her school.

An all-expenses-paid trip to attend a VFW conference to receive their award.