For Immediate Release
October 8, 2013

ISBE honors top educators and school personnel at annual Those Who Excel banquet in Normal

Illinois Teacher of the Year to be named Oct. 19

NORMAL – State education officials will honor more than 180 of Illinois’ outstanding educators later this month at the 39th annual Those Who Excel/Teacher of the Year banquet in Normal. Among the educators will be the 11 Teacher of the Year finalists, one of whom will be named that evening as the top Illinois educator for 2014.

“Every day in schools across the state, dedicated educators are diligently working to help students become successful learners. They might be helping a student overcome an obstacle, understand a new concept or apply for college but they’re all putting their students first,” said State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch. “I am honored to have the opportunity to publicly recognize these unsung heroes and thank them for their efforts on behalf of Illinois’ students.”

Local school district leaders and members of school communities nominate candidates. The nomination includes a brief nominee biography, professional development, community involvement and a description of his or her philosophy on education and views on the state’s most pressing educational needs. Letters of recommendation are also required.

A committee of peers, organized through the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), chooses the award winners. The committee represents statewide education organizations and includes former award winners.

The categories for recognition are:

A total of 183 awards will be distributed at the Saturday, Oct. 19 banquet with the following breakdown of winners:

All teachers receiving an Award of Excellence are also among the 11 finalists for the 2014 Illinois Teacher of the Year. The educator named Teacher of the Year is not told prior to the award ceremony but learns of the honor during the banquet. For a list of the finalists, please visit

The Teacher of the Year serves as Illinois’ ambassador for the teaching profession during the 2013-14 school year and represents Illinois in the National Teacher of the Year program sponsored by the ING Foundation and Target. The national award is a project of the Council of Chief State School Officers in partnership with the University of Phoenix and People to People Ambassador Program.

Brian Curtin, a high school English teacher at Schaumburg High School in Township High School District 211, was named the 2013 Illinois Teacher of the Year at last year’s banquet.

Curtin and this year’s nominees will convene for this year’s banquet at the Bloomington-Normal Marriott Hotel and Conference Center, 201 Broadway St., Normal. Due to overwhelming demand for the annual event, tickets are sold out.

A complete list of local recipients by county can be accessed at


Follow us: follow us on facebookfollow us on Twitter Visit the official ISBE website at