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Teachers from across the state honored for their expertise and commitment to specific content areas


SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois State Board of Education, along with the Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT) and the Illinois Education Association (IEA), will once again honor 29 educators whose professional education organizations selected as the best in their field of expertise during the 2013-14 school year. The educators, all of whom earned awards for teaching a specific subject, from mathematics to physical education, will be recognized during a luncheon today (Wednesday) at the Governor’s Mansion in Springfield.

“With Illinois implementing new learning standards to prepare students for a global workforce, the expertise and skills of these outstanding teachers is invaluable,” said State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch. “Their knowledge and passion for teaching in a variety of curriculum areas is an integral component of student success. We are pleased to have the opportunity to extend our thanks and appreciation for their commitment to Illinois’ students and education.”

Today’s event will be the fourth annual Exemplary Teacher Recognition Award Luncheon hosted by the State Board and the two state teacher associations.

“We are delighted to honor these educators for all they do for the communities they serve,” said Dan Montgomery, President of IFT. “We recognize how these dedicated teachers go above and beyond for their students every day and represent the high quality of teaching taking place throughout the state.”

Each fall, ISBE names one teacher of the year and recognizes more than 150 educators nominated by their own district or members of their communities for outstanding service through the Those Who Excel program. Second grade teacher Pam Riley was named the 2014 Illinois Teacher of the Year. Riley teaches at Woodbury Elementary School in Sandwich CUSD 430. The annual Exemplary Teacher Recognition Award Luncheon provides an opportunity to honor other award winning teachers from across the state.

“The Illinois Education Association is always proud to help sponsor the Teacher Recognition Luncheon, a wonderful way to thank and acknowledge Illinois’ many outstanding educators,” said Cinda Klicka, President of IEA. “The award-winners have shown exemplary teaching in each of their fields, and they remind us that great education is being delivered to our students every day in every school in Illinois.”

The following teachers will be recognized at Wednesday’s luncheon:

Educator Recognition Organization School

Joanna Angelopoulos

2013 Distinguished Service
in the Profession of Art Education

Illinois Art Education Association Gary M. Sanborn Elementary, Palatine
Eryn Blaser

Elementary Art Educator
of the Year

Illinois Art Education Association Meadow Ridge School, Orland Park
Cathy
Axen-Britts

2014 Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom Teacher of the Year

Illinois Farm Bureau Central Middle School, Burlington
Lindsey Dickinson

2014 Bob Haisman
Teacher of the Year

Illinois Education Association Evans Junior High School, Bloomington
Peter Duffer Outstanding Economic Educator 2013 Econ Illinois Buffalo Grove High School, Buffalo Grove
Tom Dwyer 2014 Illinois ProStart
Teacher of the Year
National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation Oswego High School, Oswego
Linda Egnatz

2014 National Teacher of
the Year for the American Council on the Teaching
of Foreign Languages

American Council
on the Teaching of Foreign Languages
Lincoln-Way North High School, Frankfort
Patrick Fardy Outstanding Economic Educator Econ Illinois South High School, Downers Grove
Laura Font Illinois History Teacher
of the Year 2013
Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History Madison Elementary School, Lombard
Danielle Gladstone

Star in the Classroom

Econ Illinois Mohawk Intermediate Center, Park Forest
Kathryn Hillyer

2013 Illinois Art Educator of the Year, 2014 National Western Region Art Educator of the Year

Illinois Art Education Association, National Art Education Association Kipling Elementary School, Deerfield
Angie Hughes

Illinois Health Education Teacher of the Year

Illinois Association
for Health, Physical Education, Recreation
and Dance
Maine East High School, Park Ridge
Ray Kinzie Star in the Classroom Econ Illinois Hitch Elementary School, Chicago
Brittney Klemenswicz Young Professional Middle School Physical Education Teacher of the Year Illinois Association
for Health, Physical Education, Recreation
and Dance
Wentworth Junior High School, Calumet City
Bryan Lake Presidential Award in Science Presidential Award
for Excellence in Mathematics and
Science Teaching
Urbana School District 116, Urbana
Adam Koester Star in the Classroom Econ Illinois Edwardsville High School, Edwardsville
Will Navis IAHPERD Elementary School Physical Education Teacher of the Year Illinois Association
for Health, Physical Education, Recreation
and Dance
Lincoln Elementary School, St. Charles
Justin Nowak Illinois Middle School Physical Education Teacher of the Year Illinois Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance Bateman Elementary School, Chicago
Jennifer Rambole Star in the Classroom Econ Illinois Kenneth D. Bailey Academy, Danville
Kyle Osborne Illinois VFW Citizenship Education Teacher of the Year, Grades 9-12 Illinois Veterans of Foreign Wars Villa Grove High School, Villa Grove
Melissa Righter Early Professional Award Illinois Art Education Association Cicero West Elementary School, Cicero
David Schultz Outstanding High School Physics Teacher of the Year Illinois chapter of American Association of Physics Teachers Maine East High School, Park Ridge
Gustavo Silva IAHPERD Young Professional Elementary Teacher of the Year Illinois Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance Richmond Intermediate School, St. Charles
Courtney Thomas Teacher of the Year Veterans of Foreign Wars Kingsley Elementary School, Naperville
Jeanette Thompson Secondary Art Educator of the Year Illinois Art Education Association CICS Northtown Academy, Chicago
Carrie Toth

Paul T. Griffith Illinois Council on Teaching of Foreign Languages Teacher of the Year

Illinois Council on Teaching of Foreign Languages Carlyle High School, Carlyle
Margot Van Dyke Presidential Award State Finalist in Science

Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching

O’Neil Middle School, Downers Grove
Rebecca Vieyra

Presidential Award State Finalist in Science

Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching

Cary Grove High School, Cary
Deborah Zeilner

Star in the Classroom

Econ Illinois

Joseph Gary Elementary School, Chicago

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