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IFT members recognized for exemplary teaching

The IFT joined with the Illinois State Board of Education and the IEA at a luncheon in Bloomington on June 18 to honor 33 educators who earned awards for outstanding teaching from their professional organizations in 2014-15.

“Illinois is home to outstanding educators who go above and beyond every day,” said IFT President Dan Montgomery. “It brings me great pleasure to honor these teachers who give so much of themselves for the students they serve.”

Each fall, ISBE names one teacher of the year and recognizes almost 200 educators for outstanding service through the Those Who Excel program. IFT Local 1211 member Steve Elza was named the 2015 Illinois Teacher of the Year. Other recent IFT winners of the top award include Brian Curtin, Local 1211 (2013), Ruth Meissen, Local 540 (2007); Kevin Rutter, Local 1 (2009); and Linda Smerge, Local 571 (2008).

The Annual Exemplary Teacher Recognition Award Luncheon provides an opportunity to honor additional award-winning educators around the state who teach a wide variety of content areas. This year’s event was the fifth hosted by the IFT, ISBE, and IEA.

State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith said, “We are happy to have the chance to recognize teachers of this caliber…They go the extra mile every day to ensure students are learning, and we are pleased to publicly thank them for their tireless efforts.”

Congratulations to the following IFT members who were recognized as Exemplary Teachers:

Richard Bell, O’Fallon Classroom Teachers Association, #628
VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher of the Year

Sue Brown, West Suburban Teachers Union, #571
T.E.Rine Secondary Mathematics Teaching Award

Kimberly Butts, Lake County Federation of Teachers, #504
2014 Illinois Elementary Art Educator of the Year

Jacqueline Fontillas, North Suburban Teachers Union, #1274
New Teacher of the Year

Carol Harms, Belleville High School Federation of Teachers, #434
Outstanding Speech, Debate, and Theatre Educator Award

Deyana Matt, West Suburban Teachers Union, #571
Illinois Art Educator of the Year

Amy Moore, Chicago Teachers Union, #1
Illinois Secondary Art Educator of the Year

Tina Nocella, North Suburban Teachers Union, #1274
Illinois Promising New Teacher of Mathematics

Elizabeth Ramseyer, North Suburban Teachers Union, #1274
Yerkes Educator of the Year

Esther Song, Chicago Teachers Union, #1
Promising New Teacher of Mathematics

Melissa Tuccini, Chicago Teachers Union, #1
Illinois Adapted Physical Education Teacher of the Year

Jessica Weldon, West Suburban Teachers Union, #571
Outstanding Economic Educator

View the complete list of honorees and award details here.




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