7th Grade Mathematics & Social Studies Teacher in Chicago, IL – William Ray Elementary School
2023-24 Fellow: Luke Albrecht is a 7th grade teacher at William H. Ray Elementary School in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood. Mr. Albrecht has taught mathematics to middle grade students in Chicago Public Schools for the last 22 years.
Last year, he began teaching social studies to 7th grade students in addition to mathematics. He is a National Board Certified Teacher who won the Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2014. He is passionate about integrating the arts and Food Education into his math and social studies classes.
Luke believes in equity of access for students and fostering student creativity in his classroom and believes that working with Pilot Light will enhance both. His classes center on learning, getting each others’ backs, and trying to say “yes!” Luke has partnered with organizations like Columbia College’s Center for Arts Partnerships, Hyde Park Art Center, and The Revival to bring arts integrated learning to his classes. Last year, he worked with the Pilot Light team to bring agriculture education to his students. For the last three years he has led his classes and the Ray Student Council in growing veggies in the school garden and donating the yield to the neighborhood Love Fridge. Luke lives in Woodlawn just a few blocks from Ray. He likes watching movies and traveling with his family, sci-fi, rooting for the White Sox, birding, and bat monitoring for Friends of the Chicago River.
Favorite Food Education Standard: FES #1: Food Connects Us to Each Other.
I really do not like competition. In my view, success comes when everyone is cooperating: when folks putting on a play, creating a dance, singing together, or even cooking food. I think growing food, cooking food, and eating food together is about cooperation.
A Favorite Food Memory or Recipe:
My dad ran a produce department at a grocery store for a while. He would buy a jar of pickles and then when the pickles were almost gone, he would bring home cucumbers, slice them up and put them in the pickle brine. He would wait a couple days and we would have more pickles. I still do this all the time.
Why I Became a Fellow:
I think it is two-fold. One, I am excited for my students to get excited about Pilot Light and Food Education. Two, I am eager to work with Pilot Light and the other Fellows to share ideas and talk about our practices.