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Congratulations to IFT Teachers of the Year!

Congratulations to our members awarded State, Regional and Special Education Teachers of the Year!


Three IFT members were designated this year as Regional Teachers of the Year sponsored by the Illinois State Board of Education, and one of them was selected to be the statewide Teacher of the Year. Congratulations to all three IFT members and thank you for being such dedicated educators!


2021 Teacher of the Year:

Justin Johnson, Niles Township Federation of Teachers, Local 1274


The 2021 Teacher of the Year and Cook County co-Regional Teacher of the Year is a band instructor at Niles West High School. Justin Johnson oversees all aspects of the band program at Niles West and uses the music program to inspire students to be more responsible, instill great work ethic, take pride in their efforts, and be part of a great community that desires a common goal. Johnson also advocates for equitable access to music education and has worked to promote cultural diversity in music education. He was selected “not only for the way he impacts the lives of his students but also in how he supports his peers,” said State Superintendent of Education Dr. Carmen I Ayala. Watch as Governor JB Pritzker congratulates him.



2021 West Central Regional Teacher of the Year: Marricea Page, Peoria Federation of Teachers, Local 780


Marricea Page teaches fourth grade at Maude Sanders Primary School in Peoria. She is known for making lessons exciting and relatable for students and focuses on their social-emotional needs first and foremost.






2021 Special Education Teacher of the Year: Katie McGarvey, Northwest Suburban Teachers Union, Local 1211


Katie McGarvey is a Special Education teacher at Hoffman Estates High School and was named the first ever Illinois Special Education Teacher of the Year. McGarvey is known for putting her students and service to others first.


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