Bloomington, IL

Jena Dalton

Bloomington Junior High School

7th special education

Mrs. Dalton works in a district with a lot of needs, and she services some of the students with the most unique needs. She works hard to make sure every student feels loved and accepted, and helps them to achieve their goals both educationally and personally. She comes to work every day with a positive attitude, kind and compassionate heart, and ready to problem solve whatever issues arise throughout the day. She loves her students, and advocates for them in and out of school. Mrs. Dalton deserves to be recognized for her 10 years of service, all in the same building.

Nominated by Brandi

Carbondale, IL

Jenna Jamieson

Carbondale Community High School

Business Teacher

Jenna goes above and beyond every day to make sure her students are successful. Even though she is part time, she is frequenetly there before school starts and can be seen after hours cheering on her students in their athletic endeavors. She started helping with the golf team even though she has never played a hole in her life, just because the school needed someone amd she is usually the first volunteer. She is also on the board of the Boys and Girls Club as she is passionate about helping others and the community.

Nominated by Christopher

Champaign, IL

Jenna Keller

Mahomet-Seymour High School

High-school Spanish teacher

I have nominated Señora Keller because she not only educates, but loves, supports, and encourages her students on a daily basis and even after they’ve been in her classes. She is always looking for new resources and activities to best help her students and keep them engaged whether in person or online. This is Jennas 25th year teaching and due to covid she’s had to make many adjustments to her methods, style, and location of teaching but has done it with a smile. Her students are lucky to have her!

Nominated by Karsyn


She goes above and beyond for her students. She is always coming up with innovative ways to engage them and truly connect them with the Spanish language. More than that, she cares about her students and their lives outside of her Spanish classroom. She spends break periods talking with them and supporting them in all areas of life. She spends time outside of school hours to tutor them and help them actually achieve in her class. She is a phenomenal teacher and overall caring, compassionate, and inspiring person

Nominated by Kamryn

Davenport, IA

Elizabeth Grothusen

Mckinley elementary

3rd grade

Mrs. Grothusen is so amazing and sweet! She wants everyone to know that they are important, they matter and their voices will not only be heard but are valued! She wants everyone to learn and grow intellectually, emotionally, and in confidence. I love how she helps her students succeed as much as she can. I appreciate all of her hard work and dedication! I also appreciate her heart and the love that she has for her students.

Nominated by Kisha

Edwardsville, IL

Kelly Eberlin

Roxana Junior High

6th grade Math

Mrs. Eberlin was my daughter’s 6th grade math teacher last year, and she is the middle school cross country coach. Because of the pandemic, they didn’t switch classes, so she stayed in her room the entire time. My daughter is very shy and was really scared to go to junior high. Mrs. Eberlin took her under her wing and helped her gain confidence ever day that she was in her classroom. She helped my daughter adjust her life when she broke her toe, and she helped her deal with the loss of our dog as well. She is the most caring person I have ever met. It is because of her that my daughter is running in cross country and she participated in track last year and plans on participating again this year. I have seen her build up several kids’ confidences. The kids love her. Even after they finish 6th grade, the older kids visit her classroom all the time. She is everyone’s cheerleader, and she is available for her students day and night. There is nothing she wouldn’t do to help or assist her students. I really hope she can be recognized for all her hard work.

Nominated by Crystal

Effingham, IL

Jessica Schackmann

Teutopolis Grade School


During these crazy times in education, I believe every teacher is going above and beyond, but I work across the hall from Mrs. Jessica Schackmann and see her passion and dedication on a regular basis. Jessica has just finished earning her masters degree from EIU while teaching during a long pandemic and raising two young children at home. That should be the definition of a rockstar. She is always a bright spot to my day and can make me laugh even during hard times. Jessica is a great team player and I’m fortunate to be able to call her a coworker and a friend.

Nominated by Michele

Fairview Heights, IL

John Henrichs

Mason Clark Middle School

6th grade Special Education Teacher

John goes above and beyond for his students. He works with Wast St Louis students who are extremely poor and grow up with a lot of violence in their neighborhoods. John has gained the respect of these kids and the teachers he works with. He has shown these kids that they can better themselves. He shows them respect and compassion. He also volunteers with a nonprofit exchange student organization working with foreign students and hosting them also. Anyone who comes in contact with John feels the huge heart he has and the selfless nature he projects to everyone. Teaching is his passion not a job. The students he has enjoy his class and have fun learning with him. He teaches by educational games and making the learning process fun and not mundane. My son is autistic an was in his class at Edgewood Children’s School. My son never bonded with any teacher, especially an male teacher, but instantly bonded with Mr Henrichs. This man has the patience of a saint. He needs to be recognized for his hard work and dedication to his students. If all our teachers were like Mr Henrichs, our school systems would be amazing!

Nominated by Kimberly

Forsyth, IL

Monica Clem

Sangamon Valley Intermediate School

Third grade teacher

Every school and every child deserves a Mrs. Clem. She works tirelessly to meet the needs of her students. She makes house calls, tutors, encourages, and so much more. Mrs. Clem is active in the community and has taught generations of families. Her students know they are loved and cared for and find success. She livens up everyone’s day with her enthusiasm. She’s been teaching for over two decades, but has not lost the joy of teaching. She is a treasure.

Nominated by Julie

Galesburg, IL

Stefanie Cross

Costa Catholic Academy

2nd grade

Miss Cross is everyone’s favorite because she makes learning fun and tells great stories. She tells the kids it’s ok to be weird and being themselves is important. She builds a loving environment where they all come together to be their best.

Nominated by Jen

Jacksonville, IL

Rebecca Bourn

North Elementary


Mrs. Bourn has been a 2nd grade teacher at North Elementary School for the past twenty-five years. She is extremely hard working and dedicated educator. Not only does she love to teach, she also consistently works to make her classroom a better place for all. She is uplifting and encourages her students to do their best despite any obstacles. She fosters a love of learning and motivates her students to not only complete their work, but to enjoy doing it. She is compassionate above all else and genuinely care about her students’ well-being.

Nominated by Torrey

Macomb, IL

Darryl Winters

Project Insight

High School

Mr. Winters has been a special education for 18 years at Project Insight. He is wonderful and is able to build relationships with his students. He works with special needs students and make learning engaging and interactive.

Nominated by Melissa

Moline, IL

Rebecca Potenberg

Glenview Middle School

7th Grade Science

Ms. Potenberg teaches 7th Science by making it fun and meaningful to her students. Her wide and diverse collection of live animals help her teach science concepts as well as life lessons. She is also enrolled in the Graduate program for School Counseling at Bradley University and is involved in the GSA afterschool program at Glenview. Ms. Potenberg puts her heart and creativity to work every day for her students.

Nominated by Sally

Mount Vernon, IL

Beth Matthews

Bethel Grade School

1st Grade Teacher

There has never been another person on this earth that loves their job more than Beth Matthews. I have had the pleasure of both my children having her, babysitting her daughter myself, and also becoming friends. I get to hear all the sweet and funny stories from her days in the classroom. I have watched her pour countless hours and dollars into her room over summer break. She goes above and beyond to make her students feel like a family in her classroom. This year she implemented a calm down cube for kids to utilize when they feel overwhelmed, and they also do self-affirmations every morning to start their day. She puts so much attention into the little things and it blows my mind. She deserves every accolade that could be given, but would absolutely hate to be in the spotlight. This woman is gold, and our little school is beyond lucky to have her!

Nominated by Lori

Peoria, IL

Megan Johnson



Mrs. Johnson is an amazing first grade teacher! She loves every student and puts her whole heart into everything she does! She sees each child for who they are created to be! She loves them, nurtures them, encourages them, and guides them with so much patience and gentleness! She daily strives to find the balance between being a mom, wife, and friend. As a fellow teacher, I admire her so much. Last year, Mrs. Johnson took on the responsibility of being a remote teacher, and she went above and beyond! She was my mentor, selflessly shared her resources and ideas with me, and truly excelled at the challenge! She shows all of her students and coworkers so much love! Not only is she someone I greatly admire, she is a precious friend! I wish my own children could be blessed by her teaching! Every student she has, will forever be changed!

Nominated by Courtney

Scott Air Force Base, IL

Amy Florek

Mascoutah Elementary School

3rd grade

My son had a horrible year in second grade that left him feeling defeated about school, hating school, and that nothing he did in class would ever be good enough for the teacher. Mrs. Florek met him at the open house at the start of third grade and simply asked him to give her a chance. By the end of second quarter for third grade, my son would come home saying how much he loved school and was so happy to be in Mrs. Florek’s class. By the third quarter he had no more behavior charts to fill out and almost got to having honor roll status for grades. He figured out that Science is his favorite subject, he’s really good with STEM and other engineering projects; and he wants to be a mechanical engineer for NASA when he grows up. Then the pandemic hit and he didn’t get to give her a hug goodbye when the school year ended. he finished the school year well and did well in fourth grade considering it all. with my son being in 5th grade now and starting the school year in person, he’s already doing so much better. He still attributes much of his current success to her influence on him in 3rd grade. She’s poured so much of herself into the kids at MES each year and went above/beyond all of it while in the unknowns of the pandemic & virtual learning.

Nominated by Megan

Shiloh, IL

Michelle Schultz

O'Fallon Township High School

High School Health & PE teacher

Michelle goes above and beyond for her students in so many ways. She gives them real life applicable information, whether it be for mental health concerns, health & wellness, or realistic exercises they can do at home. She’s always there to be a listening ear if they need it, and connects them to additional support people when needed. She truly cares about her students and looks forward to teaching them and putting new activities together for them.

Nominated by Audrey

Springfield South, IL

Ashley Constant

Springfield school district

7th grade special education

This specific teacher goes above and beyond for her students. During Ms. Constants 11 years in the education field, she has been known to show a passion for her career and the children weather it be devoting her own personal time after school hours or even participating in summer teaching programs to ensure her students achieve the upmost individual level of learning available to them. Ms. Constant has been known to hand deliver school work to individuals homes as well as do wellness checks in times of need. Ms. Constant shows sincere gratitude towards her passion for teaching and ensuring students gain the upmost knowledge and wellness year round. Thank you Ms. Constant for all you do with our children.

Nominated by Casey


Ashley is continuously going above and beyond for her students. She is always looking for new ways to inspire them to be there best. I enjoy watching her get excited about something positive that happen and hearing her talk about the relationship she has built with her students. She is currently continuing her own education.

Nominated by Dustin


Ashley always goes above and beyond for her students. She is always donating not only her time, but food and clothes for her students as well. Her students have not been in the classroom since March of 2020 so she is happy to be back in person with them, even masks on, and she hopes they stay in person all school year!

Nominated by Erika


Mrs. Constant shows an expert level of teaching when it comes to her students. Not only does she demonstrate her gratitude to teach in the classroom but outside her classroom as well. Countless times she has been known to deliver her knowledge to her students at their homes as well as during summer education programs and after school hours. Mrs. Constant shows an enormous amount of respect for her students and teaches at level most beneficial for them.

Nominated by Jessica


She goes above and beyond providing students from a low socio-economic background with support and supplies she personally pays for. She has a big heart and goes the extra mile for her students providing developmentally appropriate activities that focus on the whole child, which often includes referring families to community resources to help the families alleviate any stress they are experiencing.

Nominated by Marlena


She is very dedicated. Goes the extra mile especially for the ones that are often forgotten.

Nominated by Brenda



Springfield West, IL

Stacey Maxson

New Berlin Elementary School

Second grade

Stacey is a phenomenal coworker, teacher, and friend. She always puts others before herself and makes lessons interactive and fun for all students. She is amazing with students with learning disabilities or other impairments as well and truly makes her class a family each year. Along with teaching second grade she also coaches girls on the run and teaches Sunday school. She has done so many incredible things for children and the community over the years. I am blessed to even know her!

Nominated by Taylor

Nominate your favorite teacher for a chance to win a $250 Amazon Gift Card!

We talk a lot about ‘influencers” these days: the people who use their reputation and social media following to set trends, inspire thought and ultimately direct action. We think TEAchers are the OG influencers. TEAchers inspire us. They educate us. They pour into our children. And some of them ignite a passion for learning that lasts a lifetime.

TEAchers, we see you. We know the impact your influence has on our kids. And we want to say Thank You. Starting on Friday, August 27, we invite community members to nominate a teacher they admire.

Here’s what we’re looking for: 
  • TEAchers Pre-K-12, including coaches, counselors, librarians, club sponsors and administrators
  • A way this teacher has influenced or impacted the lives of their students
  • How this teacher goes above and beyond every day

Nominations will be accepted through Monday, September 20 at 5:00pm. One teacher from each of the 17 communities we serve will receive an Amazon gift card valued at $250 for a purchase that benefits their classroom, field or students.

Nomination Form

Thank you for all of your nominations! Winners will be announced Monday, September 27. We can’t wait to recognize the amazing educators that serve our communities!
Nominees will be profiled below on this site.

Nominee Profiles

Christina Britton



Mrs. Britton has an energy for learning that is contagious. She motivates her students…

Cara Niebur

Blue Ridge CUSD

Jr High School Counselor

Cara is an amazing and dedicated school counselor. She is always…

Emily Poteet

Grand Prairie


She goes above and beyond for her kinders daily, but also goes above and…

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