ISBE to recognize more than 150 educators for their contributions and commitment to public education

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Those Who Excel Program will honor educators and communities for their service to Illinois students


Springfield, IL —The Illinois State Board of Education will honor more than 150 educators and community members for their outstanding service to students across the state at the 36th annual Those Who Excel/Teacher of the Year banquet. The Oct. 16 celebration will recognize 159 exceptional teachers, administrators, student support personnel, educational service personnel, community volunteers and board members and will culminate with the announcement of the 2010-2011 Illinois Teacher of the Year.  

“These individuals are being recognized for their exceptional dedication to the students of our state,” said State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch. “Everyday they go above and beyond the norm to provide the best educational environment possible for their students. Their efforts are making a significant difference in the lives and learning of children across Illinois .”


Candidates are nominated by their local school districts or members of their communities. The nomination includes a brief biography of the nominee, his or her philosophy of education, professional development, community involvement and their views of 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 winner. 

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 award will be presented at the banquet. They are:

  • 49 recipients of the highest award level, Excellence.
  • 54 recipients of the Award of Merit.
  • 56 recipients of the Award of Recognition. 

All teachers receiving an Award of Excellence are finalists for Teacher of Year. 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.


Kevin Rutter, an Economics teacher at Carl Schurz High School in Chicago Public School District 299 is the current Illinois Teacher of the Year.

 This year’s Those Who Excel/Teacher of the Year banquet will be held at the Hotel Pere Marquette, 501 Main Street , Peoria on October 16.

 A complete list of local recipients may be accessed at:

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