Ted G. Heiser, former Oracle and Etruscan advisor, passed away at 73 earlier this month. Heiser retired from South in 2005 after 29 years of dedicated work for the English Department.
While at South, Heiser presided over the Northern Illinois Scholastic Press Association, a student news site. His publications won prestigious awards such as the Golden Eagle Award and the George H. Gallup award, the highest award granted by the Quill and Scroll Society. Additionally, Heiser received the Outstanding Teacher Award from the University of Chicago, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Journalism Education Association and National Scholastic Press Association, according to his official obituary.
When Yearbook Advisor Brenda Field met Heiser in 2001, she first noticed his good nature.
“He had a really good rapport with his students and a friendly demeanor,” Field said. “He was always open to answering questions, [was] a super supportive colleague, and a huge champion of scholastic journalism.”
Heiser also impacted English Teacher Steven Bolf, who knew Heiser for 26 years and always gave treasured advice. During that time, the two became close friends.
“[Heiser] was a great sounding board for any sort of stress that one was having in the classroom, or with teaching in general.” Bolf said. “He listened patiently and offered great suggestions and advice.”
To celebrate Heiser’s memory and the ways he impacted the community, Heiser’s family is establishing a scholarship in his name for South students studying journalism in college. The newly created Ted G. Heiser Foundation will fund the scholarship.
Even though Heiser retired from South 17 years ago, those who knew him remember him fondly, Bolf said.
“He was a kind and gentle soul who was a great friend,” Bolf said.