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

 Illinois Teacher of the Year to be named


Springfield, IL – Nearly 200 award recipients will be recognized Saturday, Oct. 22 for their outstanding service to students statewide at the 37th annual Those Who Excel/Teacher of the Year in Normal. This year’s program recognizes 198 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 2011-12 Illinois Teacher of the Year.

“The exceptional individuals being recognized this year represent the thousands of dedicated staff members across Illinois who are committed to providing our students with the best learning opportunities every day,” said State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch. “I am pleased to have the opportunity to publicly recognize these individuals who work tirelessly to help all students reach their full potential.”

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:

  • 44 recipients of the highest award level, Excellence.
  • 71 recipients of the Award of Merit.
  • 82 recipients of the Award of Recognition.

All teachers receiving an Award of Excellence are also among the nine finalists for the 2011 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.

Annice Brave, an English and journalism teacher at Alton High School in Alton Community Unit School District 11, won the 2010 Illinois Teacher of the Year and became a finalist in last year’s National Teacher of the Year competition.

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: