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For Immediate Release
April 8, 2005

State Board of Education to honor educators at
31st Annual Those Who Excel event
Nearly 200 individuals to receive honors

Springfield, Ill. –The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) will honor nearly 200 of Illinois’ outstanding teachers, administrators, support service personnel and community members on Saturday, April 16, at the 31st annual Those Who Excel/Illinois Teacher of the Year awards program. The event will be held at the Holiday Inn Select, U.S. Rte. 36 West and Wyckles Road in Decatur.

“It is indeed a pleasure for us to have this chance to honor these individuals for their outstanding work with students throughout the state,” said Interim State Superintendent of Education Randy Dunn. “They represent the thousands of people who create great educational experiences and positive learning environments for students every day. We salute each of them for their dedication, their talents and their commitment to excellence.”

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 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.

Of the 172 awards, 147 will be presented at the banquet:

  • 41 will receive the highest award level, Excellence
  • 57 will receive the Award of Merit
  • 49 will receive the Award of Recognition

The State Board of Education will also honor 25 people with the Certificate of Appreciation, which will be mailed to the recipients’ schools and presented locally.

Recipients are nominated by their local schools and people in their communities. The nomination includes a brief biography of the nominee, his or her philosophy of education, professional development and community involvement and their opinions 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 winners. All teachers receiving the Award of Excellence comprise the pool of finalists for the Teacher of the Year. ISBE staff conducts videotaped interviews of each finalist as part of the selection process.

The Teacher of the Year serves as the state’s ambassador for teaching and represents Illinois in the National Teacher of the Year program sponsored by the Council of Chief State School Officers and Scholastic, Inc. Deborah Perryman, a biology and environmental science teacher at Elgin High School, District U-46 in Elgin, is the current Teacher of the Year.

A complete listing of the 2005 Those Who Excel winners is available on the ISBE website at

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