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For Immediate Release
March 10, 2005

Illinois State Board of Education announces finalists
For State Teacher of the Year

Springfield, Ill. – The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has announced today the names of seven finalists for recognition as the 2005 Illinois Teacher of the Year. The finalists, representing urban and rural schools across the state, are selected from nominees through the ISBE’s Illinois State Board of Education’s Those Who Excel educator recognition program.

“Through their expertise and unflagging enthusiasm, these teachers create positive learning experiences for students,” Dunn said. “It’s a privilege to honor these educators, each of whom exemplifies excellence in teaching. We congratulate them for their commitment to teaching and learning.”

Nearly 200 nominations were reviewed this year by a selection committee comprised of 32 volunteer administrators, teachers, school board members, representatives from educational service personnel, student support personnel, parent/teacher organizations and former Teachers of the Year.

Each nomination is individually reviewed and scored three times. Nominations are scored based on personal background information, the nominators’ recommendations and letters of recommendation from a teacher, administrator, student, parent and community member. In addition scoring includes the nominee’s responses to questions focusing on student success, collaboration, continuous learning and leadership. The composite scores determine the level of recognition nominees receive— (Excellence, Merit, Recognition, or Certificate of Appreciation.).

Teachers scoring at the Award of Excellence level become finalists for Illinois Teacher of the Year. Following scoring and notifications, each finalist is interviewed on videotape about educational issues and personal philosophies. The interviews are reviewed by a group of former Illinois Teachers of the Year who narrow the field to the top two or three teachers. The top candidates’ nominations and tapes are submitted to the State Superintendent who makes the final decision.

Illinois’ 2005 Teacher of the Year will be the announced during the Those Who Excel awards banquet April 16, 2005, at the Holiday Inn Select in Decatur. 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.

The 2004 Illinois Teacher of the Year was Deborah Perryman who teaches environmental science and biology at Elgin High School in Elgin (School District U-46).

Illinois Teacher of the Year Finalists

  • Jacqueline E. Bolger from Hononegah Community High School in Rockton, teaches French to students in grades 9-12.
  • Mark S. Fenske teaches fifth grade at Alan Shepard Intermediate School in Bourbonnais.
  • Scott W. Hollmaier teaches physical education to sixth through eighth grade students at Viking Middle School in Gurnee.
  • Roberta M. Maubach is a third grade teacher at Thomas Metcalf School in Normal.
  • Jason Pierce from Highland Middle School in Highland is a special education teacher.
  • Janet F. Salmon from Highland Park High School in Highland Park teaches social studies, American studies, and AP psychology.
  • Mark F. Vondracek of Evanston Township High School in Evanston teaches physics to high school juniors and seniors.

In addition, Ann McWhorter Pastucha, a science teacher at Washington Middle School in Peoria, will receive the award of excellence for teaching. Mrs. Pastucha will retire this year after twenty-two years of teaching.

Nominations for Those Who Excel were made by administrators, teachers, parents, students, or any person who knows an outstanding educator. Nominations for the 2006 Those Who Excel/Illinois Teacher of the Year program will be distributed in the spring in preparation for the program’s return to a fall event.

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