Monday, October 19, 2015

ISBE honors nine school board members
at annual 'Those Who Excel' banquet

State education officials honored nine of Illinois’ outstanding school board members at the 40th annual Those Who Excel/Teacher of the Year banquet October 17 in Normal. School board members who took home an award, and their district and locale:

Sharon Roberts
Community Consolidated School District 59
Arlington Heights

Mark Johnson
DuPage High School District 88

Tim Campbell
Plano CUSD 88

Robert Gauthier
Kildeer Countryside CCSD 96
Buffalo Grove

June Maguire
Waukegan Community School District 60

Meghan Daily
Granite City School District 9
Granite City

Mary Jo Griffin
Oregon School District 220

Connie McElyea
Moline-Coal Valley School District 40

Jill Huber
Meridian CUSD 22

Among 242 other educators honored at the banquet was the 2016 Teacher of the Year, Kim Thomas, a math teacher from Woodruff Career and Technical Center, in Peoria SD 150.

Kim Thomas
Thomas says she became a teacher so “kids would have an awesome experience going to school,” and she has never lost sight of that goal. Currently in her 23rd year of teaching, Thomas is a math teacher. State education leaders and her peers said it is her dedication and energy that led to her getting the award.

“I am so happy to publicly recognize and thank educators for the great work they do day in and day out to help students succeed,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith. “Their tireless efforts and dedication to Illinois students are greatly appreciated.”

Local school district leaders and members of school communities nominate candidates for this recognition.  A committee of peers, organized through the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), chose the award winners who were honored at a banquet Saturday, Oct. 17, at the Bloomington-Normal Marriott Hotel and Conference Center in Normal. The committee represents statewide education organizations and includes former award winners.

Two-hundred-and-fifty recipients at the Oct. 17 banquet in Normal received recognition on three levels and across multiple categories including classroom teacher, school administrator, and student support personnel.

The Teacher of the Year serves as Illinois’ ambassador for the teaching profession during the 2015-16 school year and represents Illinois in the National Teacher of the Year program sponsored by the ING Foundation. Steve Elza, an automotive technology teacher at Fremd High School in Township High School District 211, served as Illinois ambassador for teaching during the 2014-15 school year.

“As the 2015 Teacher of the Year, I have been afforded many incredible opportunities to learn, share, and support other teachers, and more importantly our students throughout Illinois and across the country,” Elza said.

A complete list of local recipients by county can be accessed at ISBE's Those Who Excel site.