Meet May’s KFM Teacher of the Month

May’s KFM Teacher of the Month is Matthew Russell , a teacher at Galesburg High School. Matthew was nominated by Connor Lofing who is a student in his class. As KFM’s Teacher of the Month, Matthew receives the Big Red Apple Award along with a $100 gift card and other gifts courtesy of Galesburg Nissan, Tompkins State Bank, Lacky Monuments, Cooks & Company, Art Defined and 105.3 KFM. Here’s what Connor had to say about Matthew:

What sets this teacher apart from others?
Mr. Russell is truly the most influential teacher I have had in all years of being a student in District 205. He came to us, this is his first year teaching, and he grew on us so quickly. He has never taught a chem class before us, and I never could ask for a better teacher than him. Russell is incredibly helpful and passionate in his work and students. Everyday I, as well as everyone else, walk down the hallway, turn a corner, and walk into his classroom ready to learn. When you walk into his classroom, there’s something there, that isn’t in any other classroom. You can feel the love and the support that he gives off to each and every single one of our class members, as well as the staff at GHS. Mr. Russell is influential. Many other students in his past chem class during first semester talk a great deal of positive things about Mr. Russell. He pushes us each and everyday to do our best, both in school and our lives at home. Thanks to him we continue to share the love he gives out.

What is one thing this teacher does that is not in their job description but they do it anyway to help you or your child?
One of the reasons why he stands out from others, is how much he truly cares for each and every student in the classroom. When we walk into the classroom, minds filled with racing thoughts, we open up to him. He will go out of his way, delaying our lesson a few minutes back, in order to listen to how our weekend was or how we were feeling that morning. Another big this he does is reflection sheets. They are little sheets of paper where we write how our week was, and what he can do better to teach or be a better teacher. That’s something that is always on his mind and you can tell. He wants to be the best he can for the students in his class, and everyone at the high school, and what is he? He is the best he can be for his students! He’s open and willing to give up his day to talk to us. He lets us come in the mornings to talk, or if we are having a bad day. He’s willing to give up a little bit of his planning period (our lunch) to talk to us and check in. And after school, he is always available. He’s one of those teachers who care more about us and how we work and understand and feel, rather than how we do in his class. It’s breathtaking what he does each and everyday.

Give an example of a way this teacher has helped or impacted you or your child.
Again, an example of a way Mr. Russell has helped or impacted me has to be with how much he cares. I’m very interested in the science field and he is all for me. He answers my questions whether they are personal, if I’m feeling happy or down, or if they have to deal with what we are doing in class. When we do labs, he’s careful, but at the same time so fun and joking to all of us, including me. He loves to joke around with everyone and he can tell who is having a hard time. He puts a smile to my face every single day and always says good morning to me. I’ve gone in that classroom so many times after school already and he hasn’t got sick of me… I don’t know how yet! A lot of my friends have agreed that you could just walk in and lose track of time talking to him. He’s not just a normal teacher, he’s an influential friend. He isn’t a “teacher” to me. He is like family. Mr. Russell is our friend! Walking out of that classroom everyday leaves us eager to come back the next day, hopeful.

Congratulations Matthew Russell, May’s KFM Teacher of the Month from Galesburg Nissan, Tompkins State Bank, Lacky Monuments, Cooks & Company, Art Defined and 105.3 KFM.