GODFREY — A third-grade teacher at Gilson Brown School is a finalist for the Illinois State Board of Education’s 2015 Illinois Teacher of the Year.
Jamie Jones is one of 12 finalists for the annual educator recognition program that acknowledges the contributions and accomplishments of more than 200 educators and school personnel from throughout the state.
“This program gives us the opportunity to meet outstanding educators at every level and recognize leadership and achievements in classrooms throughout Illinois,” State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch said. “Their passion, creativity and commitment to students is an inspiration. We are pleased to publicly recognize the individuals who make a difference in students’ lives every day.”
A selection committee composed of administrators, teachers and representatives from educational service personnel, student support personnel and past Illinois Teacher of the Year winners reviewed 231 nominations this year.
Each nomination is individually reviewed and scored three times. Nominations are scored based on personal background information, the nominating recommendation and letters of support from colleagues, parents and students. In addition, nominees must respond to questions focusing on student success, collaboration, continuous learning and leadership. Scores are compiled and averaged to determine one of three levels of recognition: Excellence, Merit or Recognition.
Teachers earning an “Award of Excellence” are finalists for Illinois Teacher of the Year. Illinois has named a state Teacher of the Year since the mid-1950s. In 1970, the Illinois State Board of Education became involved in the Teacher of the Year selection, and the first banquet was held in 1974. During the 1980s, ISBE began adding other categories so educators in a variety of positions could be publicly acknowledged for their efforts. The Early Career Educator became the most recent addition in 2006.
The 2015 Illinois Teacher of the Year will be announced during the Those Who Excel banquet Saturday, Oct. 25, at the Bloomington-Normal Marriott Hotel and Conference Center in Normal. The Teacher of the Year will represent Illinois at NASA Space Camp in Huntsville, Ala., and in the Council of Chief State School Officers’ National Teacher of the Year Program.
ISBE recently launched a new Those Who Excel webpage at http://www.isbe.net/those-who-excel/default.htm. The site includes the latest news about the award program, lists of Those Who Excel honorees from recent years, bios of the current Illinois Teacher of the Year and Early Career Educator of the Year, and a list of Illinois Teachers of the Year from 1970 to the present.
A complete list of recipients by county can be accessed at http://www.isbe.net/those-who-excel/2015/Those-Who-Excel-2014-15.pdf.