For Immediate Release
August 24, 2006
Finalists for State Teacher of Year Announced
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Superintendent of Education
Randy J. Dunn today released the names of 10 finalists
for recognition as the 2006-2007 Illinois Teacher of
the Year. The finalists, representing urban and rural
schools across the state, are selected from nominees
through the Illinois State Board of Education’s
Those Who Excel educator recognition program.
“Providing outstanding education requires outstanding
teachers,” Dunn said. “Illinois is fortunate
to have so many exemplary educators. Our Those Who Excel
program provides us with the opportunity to honor their
outstanding contributions to the education of Illinois’ children.”
Nearly 160 nominations were reviewed this year by a
selection committee comprised of volunteer administrators,
teachers, school board members, representatives from
educational service personnel, student support personnel,
parent/teacher organizations and former Teachers of the
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, an administrator,
a student, parent, and community member, and the nominee’s
response to questions focusing on student success, collaboration,
continuous learning, and leadership. The scores are then
compiled and averaged to determine the level of recognition
nominees receive (Excellence, Merit, or Recognition).
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 philosophy.
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’ 2006-07 Teacher of the Year will be
the announced during the Those Who Excel awards banquet
October 7, 2006, 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 2005 Illinois Teacher of the Year is Jacqueline
Bolger who teaches French at Hononegah Community High
School in Rockton (School District 207).
Illinois Teacher of the Year Finalists
Charles “Chip” Brady teaches history at
Evanston Township High School in Evanston.
Michael Coy is a teacher of arts and communications
at Mead Junior High School in Elk Grove Village.
Amy Heath, of Granite City Senior High School in Granite
City, teaches chemistry.
Joseph Fatheree is the Instructor of Technology at Effingham
High School in Effingham.
Sherry Humphries teaches science and social science
to students at Illinois School for the Deaf.
Maureen McDonough is an English and Language Arts teacher
at Lincoln Middle School in Rockford.
Stephen Patton, from William Fremd High School in Palatine,
Lynn Rule teaches first grade at Ranch View School in
Shari Sweeney has a multiage classroom of first and
second graders at Unity Point School in Carbondale.
Evelyn Walton is a fourth grade teacher at Flossie
Wiley School in Urbana.
Nominations for Those Who Excel
may be made by administrators,
teachers, parents, students, or any person who knows
an outstanding educator. Nominations for the 2007-2008
Those Who Excel/Illinois Teacher of the Year program
will be distributed next spring.