Several educators from the North Cook ISC region are among the recipients of the state’s most distinguished educator awards, announced by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) today.
ISBE announced 10 Regional Teachers of the Year who are now in the running for the 2021 Illinois Teacher of the Year – the state’s highest honor for exemplary educators. ISBE also named its Outstanding Early Career Educator, and for the first time, named a Teacher of the Year in the categories of Bilingual Education and Special Education for being role models in educational equity for students.
“Receiving a Teacher of the Year award has taken on new meaning in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our educators have surmounted radical shifts in how they teach and connect with students,”said State Superintendent of Education Dr. Carmen I. Ayala.
Educators from the North Cook ISC region are:
Justin Johnson, a high school band teacher at Niles West High School in Niles Township High School District 219 in Skokie, one of 10 named Regional Teachers of the Year and a finalist for the 2021 Illinois Teacher of the Year.
Recipient of the first ever Bilingual Teacher of the Year is Veronica Rodriguez of Juliette Low Elementary School in Community Consolidated School District 59, Elk Grove Village, and Special Education Teacher of the Year is Katie McGarvey of Hoffman Estates High School in Township High School District 211.
In addition, ISBE named Kate Lee, a music teacher at Maine East High School in Maine Township High School District 207, Park Ridge, as the 2021 Outstanding Early Career Educator; this honor goes to a teacher with one to four years of teaching experience.
“I’ve always known the North Cook County Region has some of the best teachers in the state, and we couldn’t be more proud of these outstanding educators!” said Kevin Jauch, executive director of the North Cook Intermediate Service Center.
The North Cook Intermediate Service Center(ISC) serves as the Regional Office of Education for 32 elementary and seven high school districts in Northern Cook County. North Cook ISC provides professional development for educators, as well as teacher licensure, principal mentoring services, and operates North Cook Young Adult Academy, a Regional Safe Schools program.
The Regional Teachers of the Year were chosen from 102 nominations across the state. State Superintendent of Education Dr. Carmen I. Ayala will select the 2021 Illinois Teacher of the Year from the 10 finalists.
ISBE will recognize all its Teacher of the Year awardees and announce the 2021 Illinois Teacher of the Year virtually during its board meeting on Oct. 21, 2020 in Springfield.
Learn more about North Cook ISC at www.ncisc.org.
Read the ISBE announcement at https://bit.ly/3je1eoV.
Photos and bios of the 2021 Illinois Teacher of the Year finalists are available at www.isbe.net/teacheroftheyear.
View a video of the Regional Teachers of the Year at https://youtu.be/_NF0z3LRmpQ.
View a video of the Bilingual, Early Childhood, Special Education, and Early Career Teachers of the Year at https://vimeo.com/462654973.