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February 3, 2003

Finalists for State Teacher of Year Announced

State Superintendent of Education Robert E. Schiller has announced that fourteen exemplary teachers are finalists for recognition as the 2004 Illinois Teacher of the Year.

Finalists are selected from teacher nominees in the State Board of Education’s Those Who Excel educator recognition program. The selection of the 2004 Teacher of the Year will be the announced during the Those Who Excel awards banquet March 22, 2003, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Springfield.

Illinois Teacher of the Year Finalists

Shelley L. Barker from Danville High School in Danville, Biology and Human Life Sciences, grades 9-12.

Richard S. Bickel teaches Economics, International Relations, and U.S. History at O’Fallon Township High School in O’Fallon.

Douglas C. Bradley of Highland Middle School in Highland teaches technology.

Bruce L. Eddy is a high school history teacher at Evanston Township High School in Evanston.

Maureen L. Gartner from Euclid School in Mount Prospect is a kindergarten teacher.

Heather R. Genrich teaches visual arts to students in grades 6-8 at Eisenhower Middle School in Rockford.

Christine M. Kelly of Blair Elementary School in Madison teaches kindergarten.

Susan Merz is a first grade teacher at Oliver Wendell Holmes Elementary School in Oak Park.

David L. Morrison has been a music teacher at Prospect High School in Mt. Prospect for over 25 years.

Michael E. Rosenstiel teaches the fourth grade at Homestead Elementary School in Aurora.

Michael C. Schumann of Warren Township High School in Gurnee teaches Industrial Technology to students in grades 9 and 10.

Teresa D. Norris from Russell Elementary School in Litchfield is a fifth grade teacher.

Marcella L. Vancil is a second grade teacher at Flossie Wiley School in Urbana.

Tamela A. Wilson teaches special education at Stewardson-Strasburg Grade School in Strasburg.

Providing high-quality education requires high-quality teachers,” Schiller said. “Illinois is fortunate to have so many exemplary educators, and the Those Who Excel program provides us with the opportunity to honor their outstanding contributions to the education of Illinois’ children.”

The current Illinois Teacher of the Year is Robert “Bob” Grimm from William Fremd High School in Palatine (Township High School District 211). Grimm teaches physics and is the Science Department Chair.

During the first semester of the 2003-2004 school year, the Teacher of the Year will travel the state speaking at teacher workshops, educational conferences, and civic and community meetings. He or she will also receive a lifetime tuition waiver to state universities and a one-semester paid leave to pursue graduate work or conduct a project that will benefit educators and students across the state.

In addition, the winner represents Illinois at NASA Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama and in the National Teacher of the Year program sponsored by the Council of Chief State School Officers and Scholastic, Inc.

Illinois State Board of Education
100 North First Street
Springfield, IL 62777