For Immediate Release
Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Forty exemplary educators recognized for their expertise in specific disciplines

​State Board, Illinois Education Association, and Illinois Federation of Teachers host luncheon to honor outstanding educators across the state 

​SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) today joined the Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT) and the Illinois Education Association (IEA) to honor 40 educators who have been selected by their professional organizations as the best in their fields during the 2016-17 school year. The seventh annual Exemplary Teacher Recognition Luncheon held today in Normal honored education professionals in a wide range of disciplines.   

“These outstanding educators recognized today bring to life the phrase, ‘It takes a village,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “Educating each student as a whole child requires talented and dedicated professionals in all disciplines. I want to personally thank them for their tireless efforts to create safe and caring school climates, and for going the extra mile to make their schools places where all children feel welcomed. It is an honor and a privilege to have the opportunity to publicly recognize their efforts.”

ISBE, IFT, and IEA co-hosted today’s luncheon at the Bloomington-Normal Marriott Hotel and Conference Center. 

“The Illinois Education Association is always proud to help sponsor the Teacher Recognition Luncheon, a wonderful way to thank and acknowledge Illinois’ many outstanding educators,” said IEA President Cinda Klickna. “The award winners have shown exemplary teaching in each of their fields, and they remind us that great education is being delivered to our students every day in every school in Illinois.”

ISBE administers the Those Who Excel program each fall, naming a Teacher of the Year and recognizing more than 200 educators nominated by their districts or members of their communities for outstanding service. Township High School District 214’s Ricardo Castro, was named the 2017 Illinois Teacher of the Year. Castro teaches English as a Second Language, Language Arts, and Spanish at Elk Grove High School. The annual Exemplary Teacher Recognition Award Luncheon provides an opportunity to honor other award-winning teachers from across the state.

“Teachers and school staff have some of the hardest and most important jobs in the world,” said IFT President Dan Montgomery. “They provide our students with support and offer them opportunities to grow, often with few resources. These outstanding educators have gone above and beyond, and it’s an honor to recognize them for their enthusiasm, creativity, and commitment.”
The following exemplary educators were recognized today: