September 29, 2020
Hoffman Estates High School Special Education teacher Katie McGarvey has been named the 2021 Illinois Special Education Teacher of the Year. McGarvey was told of her selection during a meeting between with Principal Michael Alther, District 211 Superintendent Dr. Lisa Small, and representatives from the Illinois State Board of Education September 21.
As part of this year’s Teacher of the Year program, the Illinois State Board of Education added three new categories including Bilingual Teacher of the Year, Early Childhood Teacher of the Year, and Special Education Teacher of the year. With these additions, McGarvey became the state’s first Special Education Teacher of the Year recipient.
McGarvey said she was shocked when she was notified that she had been selected.
“I am so honored to have been selected,” McGarvey said. “This was incredibly unexpected. I am glad to have the opportunity to represent Hoffman Estates and District 211.”
Hoffman Estates High School Special Education Chair Colleen Little said she was glad to see McGarvey’s hard work recognized.
“Katie is all about service to others,” Little said. “It’s been great to see her in action and to see her recognized.”
McGarvey has been a teacher at Hoffman Estates High School for the past three years. She said she hopes to continue to grow as a teacher.
“For me, students come first,” she said. “I love seeing them every day, which drives my passion for this job. I hope to use that passion to continue to grow in a way that can always help the students.”
With the announcement of her selection of Special Education Teacher of the Year, McGarvey joins a list of previous District 211 Teacher of the Year recipients Bob Grimm (2001, Fremd High School Science Teacher), Brian Curtin (2012 Schaumburg High School English Teacher), and Steve Elza (2014 Fremd High School Applied Technology Teacher). McGarvey is a graduate of Palatine High School and received her Bachelor’s in Special Education from Loyola University Chicago.