Morton High School Teacher Shari Hayden Honored by North Park University

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Morton High School Teacher Shari Hayden Honored by North Park University

By Evelyn Riveros

Sprinting one-hundred meters is no easy feat, especially if ten hurdles stand between you and the finish line, but running it in 14.73 seconds without knocking down a single hurdle? Well that’s worthy of some praise. Morton High School P.E. Teacher Ms. Shari Hayden will be the newest athlete inducted into North Park University’s Athletic Hall of Fame this Friday, October 24th at a special reception during Homecoming weekend.  Hayden found a niche in hurdling at the young age of fifteen, “As a kid I always liked jumping over things. I realized that hurdling was different from jumping and I fell in love with the technique.” A technique she mastered perfectly, she was named North Park’s Female Athlete of the Year in 2000, and holds multiple school records including best time for the indoor 400 meter hurdles, 55 meter hurdles, and the 1600 meter relays, to name a few.

Hayden went on to become a two-time CCIW conference champion and earned NCAA national qualifying spots in the indoor 55 meter hurdles, outdoor 100 meter hurdles, and 400 meter hurdles. With an extensive number of records held, she is most proud of having competed in a National Division III track meet while in college as well as competing at a state level during her time as a student athlete at Lane Tech High School.​ Hayden has long since hung up her old running shoes, these days you can find her educating students on the importance of physical education and in the field house coaching Mustangs on the track and field team; “ This is my eleventh year here at Morton, the administration and staff is great, plus I love the kids.”

J. Sterling Morton High School District 201 provides quality educational experiences that challenge and enable more than 8,000 students from the communities of Berwyn, Cicero, Forest View, Lyons, McCook, and Stickney as lifelong learners to be productive and responsible members of the global community.  The district’s Board of Education is comprised of Board President Jeff Pesek, Vice President Kasumba “Kal” Lwanga, Secretary Jessica Jaramillo-Flores, and members Mark Kraft, Margaret Kelly, Michael Iniquez, and Vincent LaPaglia.  Visit District 201 online at

Michael Flaherty

Blogger, Writer at Illinois News Network
Michael Flaherty is a veteran writer, blogger and media analyst. Email him at [email protected]