Hundreds of educators, students and school administrators to attend Educators Rising conference

The gathering is geared toward enhancing the education profession.

NORMAL – Today, more than 700 high school students, teachers and school officials will meet in Bloomington to help encourage potential teachers and enhance the careers of current educators. It’s all part of the fourth annual Educators Rising conference.

“Everyone is talking about the teacher shortage, both nationally and here in Illinois. While that’s a reality, this conference gives me hope that young people are still following their passion and that’s leading them into the classroom,” Educators Rising State Coordinator Lindsey Jensen said. “The numbers are staggering. It’s really unbelievable. We have more than 700 attendees this year. When we started doing this a few years ago, we had about 50. It’s a real testament to the work these amazing young people are doing.”

There are close to 60 schools registered to attend the conference from across Illinois and most of those are high schools. There also will be 70 active teacher leaders in attendance with their students. In addition to that, this year’s conference will play host to nearly 20 educational organizations, including several of Illinois’ colleges and universities.

Students will attend sessions like:

  • Creative lecture/Ted Talk: Topic: Teacher salaries
  • Job interviews
  • Children’s Literature K-3, English and Spanish
  • Lesson planning and delivery

“I joined Ed Rising my freshman year and it truly transformed the path to my future. This club not only convinced me of my love for teaching, but also revealed to me that I wanted to major in special education with a Spanish minor,” Educators Rising President and West Aurora High School Senior Maya Moneze said. “Ed Rising has also provided me the opportunity to serve on two student panels where I had the opportunity to discuss the flaws and benefits of Illinois’ education system and treatment of teachers. It was very empowering to talk to school board members, superintendents and principals about the impact they have on teachers and how they can better their approach.”

The conference is sponsored by the Illinois State Board of Education, Illinois State University College of Education, Illinois Education Association (IEA), National Education Association, Aspiring Educators and the Illinois State Teachers of the Year.

“The IEA advocates for equity in public education and the tools and resources necessary to create, provide and sustain that environment,” IEA President Al Llorens said. “The expertise IEA members provide help deliver on the promise of public education and an opportunity for a better tomorrow for all students. The members of IEA work to create pathways to educational excellence.”

The Educators Rising conference will be held at the Bone Student Center (200 N. University St., Normal) on the Illinois State University campus. The day begins at 8:30 a.m. and concludes at 4 p.m.


At 135,000 members strong, the Illinois Education Association (IEA) is the largest union in Illinois. The IEA represents PreK-12 teachers outside the city of Chicago and education support staff, higher education faculty and support staff, retired education employees and students preparing to become teachers, statewide.

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