The student news site of Mount Carmel High School

The Caravan

The student news site of Mount Carmel High School

The Caravan

The student news site of Mount Carmel High School

The Caravan

Mr. Collier is 2024 Green Jacket honoree

Diego Palma ’25 (Caravan Media Group)
Along with the parents of Mr. Kevin Hansen, for whom the award honors, Mr. Caribee Collier stands next to the well-known green jacket after winning.

Around this time of the year in 2015, the Mount Carmel community was in a state of shock and grief. The passionate and dedicated theology teacher, Mr. Kevin Hansen, had just passed away after a very brief battle with leukemia. 

Nine years later, those at MC are still thinking of and celebrating Mr. Hansen’s life. The most important way the community does this is through the Kevin Hansen Green Jacket Award, which is given annually to the teacher who exemplifies the morals and qualities that Mr. Hansen shared when was at Mount Carmel. 

Every year the faculty nominates five fellow teachers or staff members who best embody these values, and then it is up to the student body to vote. Each student is allowed to vote for two of the five teachers, and the one with the most votes at the end wins. 

Faculty who have won the award and still currently teach at MC are Mr. Mark Antonietti, Mrs. Emma Norise, Mr. Brooks Nevrly, and Mr. Manuel Medina.

Chair of the Science Department Mr. Caribee Collier has now joined this distinguished  group by winning this year’s Green Jacket Award. 

“I appreciate whatever the thought process was for how the student body chose the winner,” said Mr. Collier. “I also appreciate that they even included me in it.”

Mr. Collier started working at MC in 2010, three years after Mr. Hansen did. While they didn’t cross paths that often, Mr. Collier still remembers him as a very organized and respectable teacher. 

“He was consistent, and he really cared about the students,” Mr. Collier said. “He used to hand out pieces of paper to students who had missing assignments in his class. That definitely stood out to me.”

Something else that stood out about Mr. Hansen was his dedication. He would wake up every day and look at a list of fourteen goals he would try to live out and accomplish. One of those goals was “pray always,” something Mr. Collier can relate closely to. 

“I believe in prayer,” said Mr. Collier. “There’s not a day that goes by when I don’t pray for a good day or my family.”

Along with the goal of always having prayer in mind, Mr. Hansen also set out to be motivated and dedicated. 

“I’m grateful for the fact that somebody sees those values in me,” said Mr. Collier. “I really appreciate it. If I do just a few of those goals every day, I’d be happy.”

Similar to Mr. Hansen, Mr. Collier does his best to be a motivating role model in the classroom. In fact, many students see him as one of the best teachers at MC. 

“Mr. Collier is one of the best teachers I’ve had at Carmel,” said junior Christos Dimas. “He definitely deserves this award, and I respect him a lot.”

This is the third year in a row Mr. Collier has been nominated. Some believe it was just a matter of time before he won.

“I voted for Mr. Collier because of how understanding he is,” said junior Danny O’Connor. “He’s very good at explaining things thoroughly, and he’s always there for students. I’m glad his great teaching and personality was finally recognized.”

Mr. Collier’s embodiment of Mr. Hansen’s values goes far beyond that of the perception by the students. Members of the faculty also wanted to see him win this award as well. 

“I think it was very well deserved,” said Mr. Tony Vazquez. “He’s a great colleague and someone that I model my teaching off of.”

Over the past nine years, the Green Jacket Award has become a tradition at MC. Not only has this time in April become a time to reflect on Mr. Hansen’s life, but it’s also become a time to reflect on how much has changed since he passed. 

“All the people who have won over the years won because they were truly their best selves,” said Mr. John Stimler, who organizes the voting for the award and discusses who Mr. Hansen was with the student body each year. “We’re not looking for those who knew Kevin really well or are very similar to him. We’re looking for someone that lives by their own values. That’s a good tradition here at MC.”

For those who knew Mr. Hansen, it can be nostalgic and saddening to think that it’s been nine years since he passed away. But for right now, the community continues to remember and celebrate his life through this award and teachers that deserve it. 

“As colleagues we all recognize that Caribee is an awesome teacher,” said Mr. Stimler. “There’s a lot of great names on this green jacket list and I’m just really glad that he’s getting some deserved recognition.”

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About the Contributor
Matthew Malloy ‘25
Matthew Malloy ‘25, Staff Writer
Matthew Malloy is a junior at Mount Carmel High School. He resides in the Southside of Chicago in the Beverly neighborhood and attended St. John Fisher Elementary School. Matt is currently a member of the student council, The Merchant, varsity golf team, varsity volleyball team, and the Caravan Media Group in which he is the play by play announcer for all home football and basketball games. As for academics, Matt is in the top 10 for the class of 2025. He first gained interest for journalism by watching ESPN’s College GameDay and reading The Beverly Review. His favorite sports commentators are Dick Vitale, Gus Johnson, Ray Clay, and Jim Nantz. As for favorite sports teams, Matt likes the Chicago White Sox, Chicago Blackhawks, Chicago Bulls, Manchester United F.C., Chicago Bears, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, and his favorite golfers are John Daly, Bryson DeChambeau, and Collin Morikawa. His favorite band is the Red Hot Chili Peppers and his favorite album is The Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd. Matt’s favorite movies are Goodfellas and Asteroid City while The Office, Freaks and Geeks, and Friday Night Lights are his favorite TV shows. He and his cousins are continuing the tradition and legacy of the O’Connor family at Mount Carmel as he is the nephew of Dan O’Connor ‘95 and grandson of Frank O’Connor ‘61 and Kathy O’Connor, who works in the spirit store and is an avid supporter of Mount Carmel.