Kane Educator of the Year nominees happy to make a difference
By EMILY McFARLAN email@example.com April 30, 2012 2:30PM
Updated: June 8, 2012 8:02AM
ELGIN — Just the other day, Lois Sands reconnected with a former student of hers who now is studying to become a doctor at Northwestern University in Evanston, she said.
That student had been a kindergartner at Sheridan Elementary School in Elgin when Sands was principal there.
And where she is principal now, at McKinley Elementary School, she had some of the parents of students when she first started teaching 38 years ago, she said.
“It’s rewarding to see you’ve made a difference in those lives,” she said.
Sands is just one of 32 educators nominated for Kane County Educator of the Year for 2012, according to the Kane County Regional Office of Education.
All 32 will be recognized as Distinguished Educators at the 37th annual Kane County Educator of the Year Awards Banquet Friday, May 11, at the Pheasant Run Resort Mega Center, 4051 E. Main St., St. Charles.
The banquet is “an evening to celebrate education in Kane County,” the regional office stated.
Other awards presented that evening will include Elementary Educator of the Year, Middle School Educator of the Year, High School Educator of the Year, and Administrative Educator of the Year. They also include awards for special educators and private/parochial school educators, the Support Staff Award, Regional Superintendents Award and Kane County Educator of the Year.
Teachers and administrators throughout the county nominate educators for those awards. Those nominated have the respect and admiration of students, parents and co-workers; play active and useful roles in their communities; and often distinguish themselves as leaders, according to the regional office.
Sands, who plans to retire at the end of the current school year, said the teachers at McKinley surprised her with their nomination. They’d spent at least three days putting together the required nomination book for the Kane County Regional Office of Education, she said.
Then, she said, they called her down to the teachers’ lounge to share the news. She just had thought they wanted her to answer some questions, she said.
“I just appreciate all the time they put into it. They’re the one who should be nominated. It’s because of them we make a difference,” she said.
Sands has taught bilingual classrooms in preschool through sixth grade at Channing Memorial Elementary School, Illinois Park Elementary School and the U46 Educational Services Center, all in Elgin, she said.
Other nominees from U46 include Evelyn Gay Rupert, a choral music teacher at Bartlett High School. Rupert has 32 years of experience as an educator, the Kane County Office of Education said.
In nearby Community Unit School District 300, retiring Chief Financial Officer Cheryl Crates is nominated in the administrative category. Kathleen P. Lindsey, a media center instructional paraprofessional at Lakewood School in Carpentersville, and Jill Lorene Fox, a learning disabilities resource teacher at Sleepy Hollow Elementary School, also are nominated.
In Central Community School District 301, Kathie Dickson of Lily Lake Grade School and Gail L. Stover of Prairie View Grade School near Elgin are nominated in the elementary teacher category. Also in District 301, Zandra McGuire of Central Middle School, Burlington, is nominated in the middle school teacher category; and Principal Daniel Schuth of Prairie View is nominated in the administrative category.
And in St. Charles Community Unit School District 303, Lori A. Drumtra of St. Charles East High School and Amy Ann Litke of St. Charles North High School are nominated in the high school teacher category. Beverly H. Taylor of Wasco Elementary School is nominated in the elementary teacher category.
Principal Kimberly S. Zupec of St. Charles North is nominated in the administrative category, and Jesus Monroy of St. Charles East in the support staff category. Judy D. Donner, a transition teacher at the Mades-Johnstone Center in St. Charles, also is nominated.