ISBE to honor those who excel in education at annual banquet in Normal

Illinois Teacher of the Year to be named

NORMAL, IL – More than 200 award recipients will be recognized Saturday, Oct. 20 for their outstanding service to students statewide at the 38th annual Those Who Excel/Teacher of the Year banquet in Normal. This year’s program recognizes 203 exemplary teachers, administrators, student support personnel, educational service personnel, community volunteers, board members and teams. The evening program will culminate with the naming of the 2012-13 Illinois Teacher of the Year.

“The high caliber of this year’s recipients is an excellent example of the outstanding human resources in classrooms, schools and districts across the state,” said State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch. “It is an honor and privilege to recognize outstanding Illinois educators, administrators, support personnel and community members who go above and beyond on a daily basis to serve our students.” 

Candidates are nominated by their local school districts or members of their communities. The nomination includes a brief nominee biography, his or her philosophy on education, professional development, community involvement and their views on the state’s most pressing educational needs. Letters of recommendation are also required.

A committee of peers chooses the award winners. The committee represents statewide education organizations and includes former award winners.

The categories for recognition are:

  • Classroom teacher
  • School administrator
  • Student support personnel
  • Educational service personnel
  • School board member and/or community volunteer
  • Teams, which recognizes groups of teachers and/or administrators; citizen committees; civic organizations; parent organizations; school boards; booster clubs and others that have a significant impact on teaching and learning in a school or district.
  • Early Career Educator

All levels of awards will be presented at the banquet. They are:

  • 48 recipients of the highest award level, Excellence.
  • 70 recipients of the Award of Merit.
  • 84 recipients of the Award of Recognition.
  • 1 Outstanding Early Career Educator.

All teachers receiving an Award of Excellence are also among the nine finalists for the 2012 Illinois Teacher of the Year. For a list of the finalists, please visit

The Teacher of the Year serves as Illinois’ ambassador for the teaching profession and represents Illinois in the National Teacher of the Year program sponsored by the Council of Chief State School Officers, ING and Target.

Josh Stumpenhorst, an eighth-grade language arts and social studies teacher at Lincoln Junior High School in Naperville Community School District 203, is the 2011-2012 Illinois Teacher of the Year.

The Bloomington-Normal Marriott Hotel and Conference Center, 201 Broadway St., Normal, will host this year’s banquet. Due to overwhelming demand for the annual event, tickets are sold out.

A complete list of local recipients by county can be accessed at: