2019 Illinois Teacher of the Year finalists announced
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) recently listed the 10 finalists for Illinois Teacher of the Year.
Each nominee has demonstrated heroism and a commitment to education, according to a press release. The nominees include a poetry teacher and a special education teacher who operates a coffee shop with her class.
“Our Teacher of the Year finalists are heroes,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith. “They represent the best in the profession and the very best of Illinois. These educators make each student feel known and cared for. At a time when some would harden our schools, these educators build the relationships that make our communities whole and strong.”
A specially-chosen group of teachers and personnel examined more than 214 Teacher of the Year nominations until they selected this year’s group of finalists. In October, ISBE will choose one finalist to represent Illinois as the 2019 Teacher of the Year, which will be announced during the annual Those Who Excel banquet.
The Teacher of the Year will be Illinois’s voice at the Council of Chief State School Officers’ National Teacher of the Year Program and will attend the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Space Camp in Alabama.
The nominees for Illinois Teacher of the Year:
Lindsay Adams is a science teacher at Gallatin County High School.
Roger Baldwin is a science and theater teacher at Clinton High School.
Susan Converse teaches special education classes at Edwardsville High School
Richard “Rick” Coppola is a language arts instructor at South Loop Elementary School.
LoriAnne Frieri, Ed.D., is a social studies teacher at William Fremd High School.
Stephanie Lerch is a math and science teacher at Red Bud Elementary School.
Benjamin Luginbuhl teacher vocal music classes at Normal Community High School.
Sara Magnafichi is a first-grade teacher at Admiral Byrd Elementary School
William “Bill” Polasky teaches social studies at Stillman Valley High School.
Katherine Whitington, Ph.D., holds classes in English, Advanced Placement English literature, dual-credit philosophy, and composition at Percy L. Julian High School.