Greg Hensel ’12, who earned a music education degree at Illinois State, was selected as the Illinois State University Outstanding Beginning Teacher at the Illinois Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (IACTE) annual awards ceremony and legislative reception. College of Fine Arts Dean James Major, and faculty member Joe Manfredo, presented the award May 6.

During his undergraduate studies, Hensel achieved an outstanding record and earned numerous accolades for his musical talents as a trumpet player. Shortly after graduation, Hensel was hired by Downers Grove South High School (DGSHS) as the associate director of bands, where he immersed himself into his position and was quickly recognized for his skills in leading band ensembles in performance.

The associate principal of DGSHS, Edward Schwartz, stated that Hensel’s “goal is to always help the students improve and grow, and he models that behavior for his students in his desire to improve his own craft.” Schwartz also praised Hensel for “fully immersing himself into the culture of our school,” which included Hensel taking the lead in integrating literacy into the music curriculum as well as implementing technological tools to enhance his students’ experience.

“Mr. Hensel has represented himself and our school in the most positive of lights,” Schwartz said. “We are proud to have him as part of our Downers Grove South family.”