Jared Young from Belvidere North High School doesn't miss an opportunity to teach a lesson.
The Golden Apple Award winner said, "Anytime I can make a lesson real for the students it comes alive for the kids. They are gonna buy in more."
He makes lessons come alive for students in unusual ways like teaching his students about taking risks by putting their hands on loaded mouse traps.
There isn't a rodent problem at Belvidere North, just the solution a business teacher has come up with to teach his students about taking calculated risks.
It's just one way he connects with students. Young said, "I want to learn about who they are and what makes them tick. The more that I know about my students, the more I can specialize and focus my lessons on what makes them work."
A 5th year teacher, Jared didn't study education initially in college. Instead, he worked a number of year in the business world but never found his passion. "I was never satisfied, said Young. "I was never in love with my job. Finally my wife looked at me and said, 'Honey you're not happy. You need to go and you need to go back to school. You need to do something you will love to do.'"
Today his family knows this is the right place for him. Jared's father, Mike Young said, "I don't know how you can describe the feeling that you have when your son becomes what they were created to be in the first place."
Taking risks. It's a lesson that Jared teaches from experience.
"It's what I am supposed to do. It's hard to describe to someone what a calling looks like. I love the kids that I work with. Everything about this is not a job anymore. It's a calling."
Jared said that he looks forward to using this award as a tool to help more teachers and students grow in and out of the classroom.