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For Immediate Release
September 15, 2006

Nearly 200 school staffers are recognized as part of the 32nd annual Those Who Excel Program

Nearly 200 of the state’s outstanding teachers, administrators, student support personnel, educational service personnel, and community members will take center stage Saturday, October 7, when they are honored by the Illinois State Board of Education at the 32nd annual Those Who Excel/Illinois Teacher of the Year awards program. The awards banquet will be held at the Decatur Conference Center, 4191 W US Highway 36, Decatur.

“We are honoring these individuals for their outstanding contributions to schools throughout the state,” said State Superintendent of Education Randy Dunn. “They represent the thousands of people who support our schools daily to help all our students become successful lifelong learners.”

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.

This year, all levels of awards will be presented at the banquet. There are

  • 35 recipients of the highest award level, Excellence.
  • 59 recipients of the Award of Merit
  • 63 recipients of the Award of Recognition

Candidates 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.

Teacher of the Year finalists comprise all teachers given the Award of Excellence. Finalists sit for a videotaped interview 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 programs sponsored by the Council of Chief State School Officers, Scholastic, Inc., and ING.

Jacque Bolger, a French teacher at Hononegah High School, District 207, in Rockton is the current Illinois Teacher of the Year.

View this year’s Those Who Excel winners, listed by county.

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