Being recognized for the work that I put forth in and out of the classroom was such an incredible experience. I felt honored and inspired to be among so many people that have done great things.

Stacy Krabbe, 2020 Outstanding Early Career Educator

Attending the Those Who Excel banquet was an exceptional experience and phenomenal opportunity to witness all of the great educational work that is transforming the State of Illinois. The event created a memorable sense of accomplishment and appreciation that was indescribable for our team.

​East St. Louis Urban Teacher Residency Program, Team Excellence Award

This prestigious honor that ISBE bestowed on my beloved husband has touched my family's grief-stricken hearts and will always be remembered and cherished. The standing ovation Charlie received shows the compassion and character of those in attendance that evening. Charlie would be so humbled, as we were. I sincerely hope other districts are encouraged to nominate and honor their many outstanding volunteers.

Kathy Crabtree, wife of Education Support Personnel Excellent award recipient Charles Crabtree
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Successful students are a by-product of exceptional educators. The Elevating Educators page is dedicated to the promotion of these educators throughout Illinois for their efforts both in and out of the classroom. The following programs are dedicated to the recognition of these individuals and teams. Click on any one of the following links to find out more about how to recognize an outstanding educator you know!​​

Teacher of the Year

Since 1970, the Illinois State Board of Education has sponsored the Illinois Teacher of the Year program, recognizing the best of the teaching profession in Illinois. All public and nonpublic preK-12 educators in Illinois with more than five years of teaching experience are eligible. The top nominees from eight regions are designated as Regional Teachers of the Year; the Illinois Teacher of the Year is selected from that cohort. We also recognize Bilingual, Early Childhood, and Special Education Teachers of the Year. The Outstanding Early Career Educator award is presented to the top teacher in Illinois with one-four years of teaching experience.​​​​​​ Remaining nominees are awarded on two levels: Meritorious Service and Special Recognition.

Those Who Excel

Since 1970, the Illinois State Board of Education has sponsored Those Who Excel to honor individuals who have made significant contributions to our state's public and nonpublic elementary and secondary schools. Awards are presented in five ​categories: school administrator, student support personnel (licensed), educational service personnel (unlicensed), community volunteer and teams. Nomination materials are evaluated by a selection committee comprised of individuals who represent a variety of educational organizations.

Illinois Excellence in Education

The Illinois Excellence in Education luncheon, sponsored by IEA and IFT, is dedicated to honoring many of Illinois’ top educators nominated for awards by an organization tied to education throughout Illinois and nationally. These educators may be representative of their specific content field, grade level, or region in which they teach.

2019 Excellence in Education

If you are an organization that would like your educator awardee recognized, please reach out to Jeff Seiler, Educator Outreach Coordinator at​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Milken Educator Award

Known as the “Oscars of Teaching,” the Milken Educator Awards celebrates the outstanding work of one teacher in Illinois through a $25,000 unrestricted award. Established in 1987 by the Milken Family, the foundation has awarded over $70 million. Milken Educator Awards target early-to-mid career education professionals for their outstanding achievements and future potential to the field of education.

See previous winners and more information on Milken.

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