Award recipients were honored at the annual Representative Assembly of the IEA. Some 1,200 delegates, guests and state dignitaries attended the event in Rosemont, April 14-16, 2016.

1Batavia teacher selected IEA’s State Teacher of the Year

ROSEMONT, Ill., Apr. 14, 2016 – Andrew Ray, a social studies and psychology teacher at Batavia High School, has been selected by the Illinois Education Association (IEA) as its Teacher of the Year.

Ray was recognized for the honor on Thursday at the annual Representative Assembly of the IEA. Some 1,200 delegates, guests and state dignitaries attended the event in Rosemont.

“Andrew Ray is a first-rate educator and an inspiration to other educators,” said IEA President Cinda Klickna. “He is dedicated to his school district, his association and his community. He’s a leader who builds support for schools among parents and community members.”

In making the selection, Ray is cited for his work in using social media to engage the community and association members in a recent school board election. Ray was instrumental in publicizing candidate forums to gain community support and involvement. He also uses social media to promote the positive community work of teachers.

The IEA Teacher of the Year award is named after former IEA President Bob Haisman. The IEA is the state’s largest organization of school employees.

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2Edwardsville school custodian selected as IEA’s Education Support Professional of the Year

ROSEMONT, Ill., Apr. 14, 2016 – A head custodian at Columbus Elementary School in Edwardsville has been selected by the Illinois Education Association (IEA) as its Education Support Professional of the Year.

Nancy Stahlhut was recognized for the honor on Thursday at the annual Representative Assembly of the IEA. Some 1,200 delegates, guests and state dignitaries attended the event in Rosemont.

“Nancy Stahlhut is a leader and mentor who consistently goes above and beyond the call of duty in service to students, her community and to the Association,” said Cinda Klickna, president of the IEA. “She is an inspiration and role model to adults as well as students.”

The IEA awards committee cited Stahlhut’s service to community and her many activities in the association as instrumental in her receiving the recognition.

Stahlhut serves as youth leader, tutor and mentor in her church. She has received many awards in Edwardsville District 7, including the Those Who Excel citation and Good Apple award. She has served her local and state association as a building representative, region council representative, executive board member, bargaining team member and on the labor/management team.

The IEA is the state’s largest organization of school employees.

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3Former Schaumburg teacher named IEA Retiree of the Year

ROSEMONT, Ill., Apr. 14, 2016 – Linda Stolt, a retired teacher from Schaumburg, has been selected by the Illinois Education Association (IEA) as this year’s recipient of the organization’s Mary Lou and Keith Hauge Retiree of the Year Award.

Stolt was recognized for the award on Thursday in front of some 1,200 association delegates, guests and state dignitaries at the IEA’s annual Representative Assembly in Rosemont.

“Linda Stolt is a friend and colleague who is fully deserving of this honor,” said IEA President Cinda Klickna. “She is one of those outstanding leaders who brings passion, professionalism and dedication to everything she does. She has devoted a good portion of her life to working on behalf of teachers, students and the IEA.”

In making the selection, the IEA awards committee cited Stolt for her years of service to the IEA. Stolt currently is president of the IEA-Retired Northwest Suburban Chapter. She is a member of the IEA-Retired Council and on the Bylaws and Resolutions Committee. She has, in years past, served the association as president of the Schaumburg Education Association, building representative, and in a variety of other elective offices.

The IEA is the largest organization of school employees in Illinois.

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4Governors State University student named IEA Student of the Year

ROSEMONT, Ill., Apr. 14, 2016 – Michael Flood, a student at Governors State University, has been selected by the Illinois Education Association (IEA) as recipient of its Bob Haisman Student of the Year award.

Flood was recognized for the honor on Thursday in front of some 1,200 association delegates, guests and state dignitaries at the IEA’s annual Representative Assembly in Rosemont.

“Michael Flood is an advocate for education and a leader at his university,” said IEA President Cinda Klickna. “He is committed to his student colleagues and to making a positive difference in his community through his volunteer efforts.”

In making the selection, the IEA awards committee cited Flood’s passion for the education profession and his volunteer efforts. Flood helped organize and implement a book drive for a local Ronald McDonald House and is a regular volunteer in collecting and distributing books to needy students. He maintains a 4.0 grade point average.

Flood is a political activist and treasurer for his student education association.

The IEA is the state’s largest organization of school employees.

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5Glenview teacher selected as IEA Human and Civil Rights Award winner

ROSEMONT, Ill., Apr. 14, 2016 – An elementary school teacher at Glen Grove Elementary School in Glenview School District #34 has been selected by the Illinois Education Association (IEA) as this year’s recipient of its Human and Civil Rights Award.

Amanda Martinsen was recognized for the honor on Thursday at the annual Representative Assembly of the IEA. Some 1,200 delegates, guests and state dignitaries attended the event in Rosemont.

“Amanda Martinsen is a first-rate educator and an inspiration to us all,” said IEA President Cinda Klickna. “She is dedicated to her students and her community. Her creation of “The Nora Project” has been life changing for students with conditions that sometimes make it difficult for them to connect with others. Teachers like Amanda make us all proud to be educators.”

Martinsen teaches 5th grade. She’s in her third year in the district.

The Nora Project grew out of Martinsen’s deep concern that students who have difficult medical conditions such as Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, autism and a host of others often have a difficult time making connections and friendships with other students in school. Martinsen designed and created a schoolwide, year-long project during which her 5th grade students interviewed and learned the personal stories of other students with various physical and emotional conditions. These connections are essential in building lasting friendships. In documenting their interactions, students learned not only from the children themselves, but also interviewed family members and friends.

The IEA Human and Civil Rights Award is named after former president of the IEA and the National Education Association, Reg Weaver. The IEA is the state’s largest organization of school employees.

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6Mundelein High School teacher selected as nominee for National Education Association Foundation Award for Teaching Excellence

ROSEMONT, Ill., Apr. 14, 2016 – Andrew Hirshman, a social studies teacher at Mundelein High School, has been selected by the Illinois Education Association (IEA) as its nominee for a National Education Association Foundation Award for Teaching Excellence.

Hirshman was recognized for the nomination on Thursday in Rosemont at the annual Representative Assembly of the IEA. Some 1,200 delegates, guests and state dignitaries attended the event.

“Andrew Hirshman is an educational leader and innovator who is committed to schools and students,” said IEA President Cinda Klickna. “He not only devotes his professional life to education in Mundelein, he creates opportunities for his students to connect with other students and educators here and in other countries. His world view engages his students and expands their horizons.”

In selecting Hirshman for the award, the IEA awards committee cited several of his specific accomplishments. Hirshman engaged his students with educational trips to Asia, Europe and Africa. He set up on-line discussion boards between his students and those in several South African schools. He traveled to Africa to observe and learn about effective teaching practices. In Mundelein, he is a sponsor of extra-curricular activities, and created a student peer jury based on the principles of restorative justice. Hirshman also serves as a trustee of the Illinois Teachers’ Retirement System.

The IEA is the largest organization of education employees in Illinois.

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7Congressman Rodney Davis named IEA Friend of Education

ROSEMONT, Ill., Apr. 15, 2016 – Congressman Rodney Davis has been named by the Illinois Education Association (IEA) as a 2016 recipient of its Friend of Education Award.

Davis, a Republican serving Congressional District 13 in Central Illinois, was recognized for the honor on Friday at the annual Representative Assembly of the IEA. Some 1,200 delegates, guests and state dignitaries attended the event in Rosemont.

“Rodney Davis is a friend and ally to educators and to public schools,” said IEA President Cinda Klickna. “He’s been a committed partner with the IEA and the National Education Association in supporting federal legislation that will benefit children, students and schools across the country.”

The IEA awards committee cited Davis’s support of the Every Child Succeeds Act as well as his efforts to protect collective bargaining for public school employees.

“Congressman Davis has often spoken about the importance of unions and their role in protecting the middle class,” Klickna said. “His courage and advocacy for hard-working people is extremely important in today’s political environment.”

Davis, his wife and three children live in Taylorville. His children attend public school.

The IEA is the largest organization of school employees in Illinois.

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8Prominent Springfield attorney named IEA Friend of Education

ROSEMONT, Ill., Apr. 15, 2016 – Ralph Loewenstein, a prominent Springfield attorney who in his legal practice represented teachers and school employees for more than 40 years, has been named by the Illinois Education Association (IEA) as a 2016 Friend of Education.

Loewenstein was recognized for the honor on Friday in Rosemont at the annual Representative Assembly of the IEA. Some 1,200 delegates, guests and state dignitaries attended the event.

As outside counsel to the IEA, Loewenstein represented the association on many significant legal matters. He argued IEA cases in over half the circuit courts and in all five of the Illinois Appellate Courts. He often was called upon to be the legal voice of the IEA at state agencies, including the Department of Labor, Department of Human Rights and Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board.

In making the selection, the IEA awards committee said: “No one more embodies the best about the practice of law than Ralph Loewenstein. A client, whether an individual member, local association, state organization or staff, could not have a more competent and professional attorney and advocate.”

The IEA Friend of Education citation is awarded annually. The IEA is the state’s largest organization of school employees.

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9State Rep. Lou Lang named IEA Friend of Education

ROSEMONT, Ill., Apr. 16, 2016 – State Rep. Lou Lang (D-16) has been named by the Illinois Education Association (IEA) as a 2016 recipient of its Friend of Education Award.

Lang, who has served the citizens of the 16th House District since 1987, was recognized for the honor on Saturday at the annual Representative Assembly of the IEA. Some 1,200 delegates, guests and state dignitaries attended the event in Rosemont.

“Lou Lang has been a consistent and passionate supporter for public education, for the middle class in our state, and for the unions that help bring more people into the middle class,” said IEA President Cinda Klickna. “Lou is one of our General Assembly’s most effective leaders. He’s a staunch defender of equal rights and fairness for all Illinois citizens.”

Lang is currently the deputy majority leader in the Illinois House. His legislative district includes parts of Chicago, Lincolnwood, Skokie and Morton Grove.

The IEA Friend of Education Award is given annually by the IEA, the state’s largest professional organization of school employees.

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