To The Point - Fall 2013 Edition


Mon, 10/28/2013 - 1:09pm
The following article appears in the Fall 2013 Edition of To The Point, a quarterly newsletter from Champaign Unit #4 School District. Click here to view the newsletter in its entirety.  
The Best and Brightest by Superintendent Dr. Judy Wiegand
There are many reasons why I am so proud to serve as Superintendent of Champaign Unit 4 Schools. Recent recognitions received by several of our faculty, staff, and community members remind us all that we have some of the best and brightest in the profession serving our students. It is my pleasure to highlight these accomplishments.
Science has always been one of the more difficult teaching positions to successfully fill as so often those who excel in that field of study pursue other career fields. Recently, the Illinois Science Teachers Association (ISTA) named three Champaign teachers in their annual awards. Liz Dabrowski, a third grade teacher at Booker T. Washington STEM Academy, and Brandon Rutherford, a third grade gifted teacher at Garden Hills Elementary School, were named two of ISTA’s New Teachers of the Year. Elizabeth Slifer, a fourth grade teacher at Carrie Busey received the ISTA Outstanding Teacher of Science Award. These awards recognize teachers for excellence in facilitating science learning in their classrooms. It is incredible to know that our students are taught by professionals who are honored by their colleagues as being the best.  
More Champaign Unit 4 Schools faculty, staff and community members were honored at this year’s Those Who Excel banquet.  This annual recognition from the Illinois State Board of Education honors individuals for their outstanding service to students.  The honorees from Unit #4 included:
  • Alyssa Mayer, teacher at Booker T. Washington STEM Academy, won the Classroom Teacher Award of Recognition.
  • Janet Khachaturian, Centennial High School parent and volunteer, won the Community Volunteer Award of Merit.
  • Becky Restad, Attendance Secretary at Garden Hills Elementary School, won the Educational Service Personnel Award of Merit.
  • The Champaign Schools Magnet Team, a group of administrators and teachers from the District’s three magnet elementary schools, won the Team Award of Recognition. 
  • Mi’Chelle Frazer, teacher at Booker T. Washington STEM Academy, won the Early Career Educator Award of Excellence.
  • Kathy Hughes, Speech/Language Pathologist at Franklin Middle School, won the Student Support Personnel Award of Recognition. 
It is important to note that these individuals were nominated by their colleagues, which speaks volumes to the high level of collegiality and respect shared among our faculty and staff, their support of each other, and their desire to honor great work.
Additional honors were recently received by Cheryl Camacho, Interim Principal at Garden Hills, and Sheldon Turner, Operation Hope Coordinator.   Both were named to the 40 Under 40 list by the Central Illinois Business Magazine, with Sheldon Turner being honored as Man of the Year. This award recognizes young professionals for their achievements in their careers, leadership ability, and dedication to community service.  
I could go on and on highlighting the accomplishments of my Champaign Unit 4 Schools colleagues and these awards are only some of the things illustrating the dedication of our faculty, staff and volunteers.  The most important work done in Unit 4 is the day to day interaction with our students and our community should be very proud of those who have made the decision to work in Champaign Unit 4 Schools.  Public education and the teaching profession are under continuous scrutiny with increased expectations for higher performance. As Superintendent, I am very fortunate to work with such outstanding professionals and know the Champaign community is very proud of this level of excellence.
In memory of Paula Gaddis, Wendy Huckstadt, and Sandra Lentz.
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