Teacher of the Week: James Sabathne - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Teacher of the Week: James Sabathne


To some, a high school history is not the most exciting of subjects. There are a lot of dates, names and event which can drive a student to boredom. Luckily, James Sabathne understands that when teaching his students at Hononegah. 

"I know most of them aren't going to become historians," Sabathne said. "Most of my students are gonna go off into life and they are gonna find things that interest them. That they are passionate about." 

He looks at students as individuals and looks how his lessons can benefit them. "There is a meaningful education that happens if I focus on what every student needs. Fundamentally what they need to do is to learn how to think," said Sabathne. 

It's an approach that has everyone around him thinking pretty highly about him. Sophomore Kyle Donahue said, ""He makes it easy for you to learn. He puts the extra effort instead of just saying go do this. Just to make sure you can be successful in the class and learn and get it down."

High remarks from students and administrators like Hononegah Principal, Eric Flohr who said, "Mr. Sabathne is a master teacher. He has this innate ability to take a student from here and at the end of the course they are so much farther along than they ever thought possible." 

He is a history teacher that has marked a little history of his own. He was in charge of starting Hononegah's first model UN team. "He has that passion to go above and beyond. This is not a job for him. This is what he loves. This is who he is," said Flohr. 

A way of life for Mr. Sabathne, that won't change anytime soon. 

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