Senn’s Cullinane Honored by Walgreens as Outstanding Teacher


Senn High School journalism teacher Michael Cullinane is one of four teachers being honored by Walgreens for “going above and beyond their ordinary duties to encourage students to creatively express themselves through art, spoken word and videos on very real topics to make a difference in their schools and community.”

The award, part of the Walgreens Expressions Challenge, is being issued as part of National Teacher Appreciation Month, which is May. Each teacher will receive a special Teacher Appreciation certificate, along with a gift card and will be featured in select Walgreens locations in the areas around their schools, according to a release from the company.

Loyola University Chicago partners with Senn High School, and has worked extensively with Cullinane, who sends top students to work as journalists for We talked to some of those student journalists.

“Mr. Cullinane is an amazing teacher and I am happy he is finally getting the recognition he deserves,” said Naima Woods, a soon-to-graduate Senn senior. “He means a lot to me because he continuously put efforts into helping me be a better person. If I had never crossed pathways with him, my life wouldn’t be the same.”

Elvir Mujkanovic, also a Senn senior, echoed Woods.

“Mr. Cullinane is an amazing teacher solely because he brings a hands-on experience that I haven’t even come close to in any other classroom. His drive, passion, and personal sacrifices for the betterment of the classroom is unheard of,” Mujkanovic said.

Senior Kirsten Ceralde agreed.

“What makes Mr.Cullinane a great teacher is he continues to push us to be better journalists, filmmakers, and better people,” Ceralde said. ” Mr. Cullianne treats us like  adults even at the age of 15. He never gave up on us even when we felt like giving up on ourselves. Mr. C is the reason a lot of us found things we were passionate about, and he’s also the same person who helped us pursue them.”

He treats us like family,” Woods said. “and thats all you could ever want from a teacher –  to feel welcomed and cared for. He goes above and beyond and you know sometimes it drives me crazy but I can’t think of any other teacher that would do whatever it takes to make sure we are confident in ourselves, in our work. He’s one of the best things to happen to Senn and he can only get better. “

Here is a feature that aired on WTTW about Cullinane and his Senn TV program.

Expressions is a platform established by Walgreens to educate, empower and equip young people and their community with insights and resources on issues impacting teens.

The Walgreens Expressions Challenge is a peer-to-peer based “healthy choice” awareness initiative for high school teens age 14-18. At the core of the Expressions Challenge is an incentive-based contest for teens to showcase their creative perspective on healthy lifestyle choices. The Challenge motivates participants to voice their opinion on critical life issues they face daily through creative writing, visual arts, and media arts, according to a statement from Walgreens. To learn more about the challenge and to view the student submissions, visit


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