2015 Illinois Teacher of the Year and students to participate in Illinois State Fair event

Posted: Updated:

SPRINGFIELD - The 2015 Illinois Teacher of the Year, Steve Elza, and 10 of his current and former students from William Fremd High School in Palatine will be taking part in an engine tear down in Governor's Tent at the Illinois State Fair this weekend.

“Great teaching takes many forms, but all teaching has the same goal: to inspire students and provide them with the ability to succeed after they graduate,” said Gov. Bruce Rauner.

The tear-down will be an opportunity for students to demonstrate what they've learned through coursework and hands-on experience.

Five students will disassemble a small block Chevy engine down to the block and crank then reassemble following industry standard procedures and torque specifications, typically within the current state and national competition criteria of 20 minutes.

Elza's own school experiences helped make him an outstanding teacher and mentor to his students. He struggled with school until the end of his sophomore year in high school when an opportunity arose that would change his life—he was offered the chance to attend the Technology Center of DuPage (TCD) to specialize in automotive technology. College had never been a part of Steve’s plan until the program director, Jim Krudl, asked him to visit Southern Illinois University. Steve obliged and, in his words, “fell in love.” He was the first person in his family to attend college and graduate.

Elza and his students will be showcasing their talents at 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 14; Saturday, Aug. 15; and Sunday, Aug. 16. 

Current Conditions