For Immediate Release
April 16, 2005
State Board of Education names Winnebago County educator
as the 2005-2006 Teacher of the Year in Illinois
Honor goes to Jacqueline Bolger, French teacher at
Hononegah Community High School in Rockton, Illinois
Springfield, Ill.The Illinois State Board of Education
has named Jacqueline Bolger the 2005-2006 Illinois Teacher
of the Year. The announcement was made at the 31st
Annual Those Who Excel event on Saturday, April 16. As
Illinois Teacher of the Year, Bolger will serve as the
states ambassador for teaching and represents Illinois
in the National Teacher of the Year program sponsored
by the Council of Chief State School Officers and Scholastic,
Ms. Bolgers enthusiasm, passion for teaching
and commitment to her students are indeed remarkable,
said Interim State Superintendent of Education Randy Dunn.
Her innovative thinking, creative approach and ability
to get students excited about learning make her a shining
example of the teaching excellence in Illinois.
For the past 24 years of her 33-year teaching career,
Jacqueline Bolger has taught French at Hononegah Community
High School. Following her undergraduate studies, she
initially pursued a career as an interpreter for the United
Nations but, then returned to college to complete her
teaching certificate and begin her career in education.
Today Bolger says she looks forward to coming to school
every day and continues to be amazed at the reciprocal
nature of education, saying that she learns as much or
more from her students as she teaches them.
In addition to teaching five classes a day, Bolger is
the department coordinator for Foreign Languages at Hononegah
Community High School and was highly influential in securing
the International Communication Center, a 30 station state-of-the-art
digitized computer laboratory that enhances student learning
on numerous levels. She also serves as sponsor for the
French Club and the schools Key Club organization.
Jacque has gone above and beyond the call of duty
to improve the French program at our school, said
Hononegah Principal Judy Rigby, who nominated Bolger.
When Jacque decides to retire someday, it will take
more than one person to fill her shoes.
Bolger holds a bachelor of arts degree in French from
Rosary College and a master of arts for teachers in English
from Rockford College.
Bolger was selected from a field of seven finalists,
each of whom received the Award of Excellence. All award
recipients were nominated by their local schools or community
members. A committee of former award winners and representatives
from statewide education organizations reviewed the field
of nominees and selected the finalists for Teacher of
the Year. ISBE staff conducted videotaped interviews of
each finalist as part of the selection process, with the
State Superintendent of Education making the final selection
of Teacher of the Year.
As Illinois Teacher of the Year, Bolger will spend the
2005 fall semester speaking at teacher workshops, educational
conferences and civic and community meetings. She will
receive a lifetime tuition waiver to state universities
and a one-semester paid leave to pursue graduate work
or develop an educational project that will benefit students
statewide. In addition, Bolger will represent Illinois
at the NASA Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama, and in
the National Teacher of the Year program sponsored by
the Council of Chief State School Officers and Scholastic,