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  • Chris Coffey, West40

WEST40 AREA EDUCATORS AND SUPPORT PERSONNEL RECEIVE STATE HONORS

Updated: May 24, 2023



Congratulations to the dozens of West40 area educators and school support personnel who were honored at the 49th Annual Those Who Excel & Teacher of the Year Awards on Saturday, May 20 in Bloomington-Normal.


The annual awards are hosted by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and honor those who have made lasting impacts on students, families, and fellow educators in their school communities. The award recipients from school districts in West Cook County included teachers, administrators, teams, and educational service personnel.


“The Those Who Excel and Teacher of the Year program has a storied legacy uplifting Illinois’ best and brightest educators,” said Governor J. B. Pritzker. “Teaching is a profoundly important profession, and I know that our state is better thanks to the commitment and leadership of these remarkable educators. On behalf of the state of Illinois, congratulations to the 2023 Teacher of the Year cohort to whom Illinois owes a debt of gratitude.”


In April, Briana Morales, an English teacher at Gordon Bush Alternative Center in East St. Louis School District 189, was named the 2023 Illinois Teacher of the Year.


The West40 area award recipients include:


Carol Best, J. S. Morton High School District 201

Kimberly Arthur, J. S. Morton High School District 201

Kennedy Irmen, J. S. Morton High School District 201

Stetson Steele, LaGrange Highlands School District 106

Lauren Fountas, LaGrange Highlands School District 106

Elm Middle School Student Services Team, Elmwood Park Comm. Unit School District 401

Proviso East Parent Advisory Council, Proviso Township High School District 209

Cristin Chiganos, Proviso Township High School District 209

Rebecca Tanaka, Proviso Township High School District 209

Shirley Magee, Proviso Township High School District 209

Amy Paulus, Proviso Township High School District 209

April Senase, Proviso Township High School District 209

Catherine Josephs, Proviso Township High School District 209

Michael Bokar, Proviso Township High School District 209

Julie Huff, Cicero School District 99

Mayda Zamarripa, Cicero School District 99

Diane Daniels, Elmwood Park Community Unit School District 401

Instructional Coaches, Elmwood Park Community Unit School District 401

John Mills Parent Teacher Association, Elmwood Park Community Unit School District 401

Vincent Fiore, Elmwood Park Community Unit School District 401

Charles Curtin, Elmwood Park Community Unit School District 401

Iwona Ciezkowska, Elmwood Park Community Unit School District 401

Kendal Ahlmann, Elmwood Park Community Unit School District 401

Bryan Miller, Leyden High School District 212

Dr. Sawsan Jaber, Leyden High School District 212

Samantha Stearns, River Forest School District 90

Madonna Weck, Oak Park Elementary School District 97

Lauren Trout, Oak Park Elementary School District 97

Allison Nelson, Oak Park Elementary School District 97

Elizabeth Vietzen, Oak Park Elementary School District 97

Kathleen Kelly, Oak Park Elementary School District 97

Lori Pelling, Oak Park Elementary School District 97

Nicole Clark Braswell, Oak Park Elementary School District 97

Stephanie Suerth, Oak Park Elementary School District 97

Deyse Garcia, Berwyn South School District 100

Sarah Larson, Berwyn South School District 100

Geri Pasieka, LaGrange School District 102

Sabina Hussaini, Berkeley School District 87

Samantha O’Hara, Brookfield Lagrange Park School District 95


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