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Hagerty says he's inspired by feedback from students

Ray Hagerty group photo


For social science Teacher Ray Hagerty, reading the nomination messages from students for his Staff Member of the Month Award is what inspires him as a teacher.

Hagerty’s eight nominations are indeed inspiring, and they ultimately led to him earning the award for East Campus for February. Teachers, students and administrators were able to surprise him with the award before the buildings closed because of COVID-19 concerns.

“It was definitely an honor,” said Hagerty, a graduate of West Campus who now teaches with several of his own former teachers.

This is his first year teaching in McHenry, and his classes include government and introduction to psychology. Hagerty, who also helps coach wrestling, said he works to establish a relationship of respect with his students.

His students credit him with brightening their days as well as making them interested in learning, and caring for them as individuals.

“The greatest teacher to ever grace the earth,” senior Matthew Patten said of Hagerty.

Another senior, Shane Metreger, said “Mr. Hagerty is the first teacher I’ve ever had that had the power to make me interested in government.”

While this is Hagerty’s first year teaching at his alma mater, it isn’t his first year teaching. After graduating from McHenry, he joined the U.S. Army following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

He served two years in Afghanistan then went to school at Northeastern Illinois University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in secondary education and history. His student teaching brought him to Gage Park High School in Chicago.

Then he worked in construction for five years before deciding to go back to teaching. He and his wife, whom he met at McHenry, decided to come back home.

Hagerty, who teaches at East and West, said he was glad to read his students’ nominations.

“That meant a lot to me,” he said. “Yes, I want to teach the content of my class, but I want to do those other things.”

This is the first year for the Staff Member of the Month program in McHenry. Each month, a staff member from each campus is selected from recommendations of other staff, students, parents and community members.

Staff members receive a gift card from either Brunch Cafe or Meat and Potato Eatery. MCHS appreciates the support from sponsors.

Learn more about the program here. To make a nomination, click here.

Staff Member of the Month