Elizabeth Mendoza’s success in the classroom has been well known throughout J.S Morton High School District 201. It was just a matter of time before the the Illinois State Board of Education recognized her for that success.
Mendoza, a Spanish teacher for the district, was named one of 10 finalists for the 2017 Illinois Teacher of the Year award. The annual educator recognition program acknowledges the contributions and accomplishments of academic leaders throughout the state. Her nomination was one of 250 throughout the Prairie State.
As an AP Spanish teacher, each of Mendonza’s students has received at least a passing score of 3 set by the College Board in the previous two years. She has also increased the number of students receiving scores of 4 and 5 from the previous year.
“These results do not happen by accident,” said Jeffry Pesek, Morton 201 School Board President. “She makes herself available as often as needed to provide extra help for her students in preparation for the AP exam. She helps her students treat their bilingualism as an asset that affords exceptional opportunities for college and careers.”
Mendoza also serves as an ambassador for Morton 201, sharing her skills with other teachers and schools for local and national conferences, including the College Board Prepárate seminar, and was among other officials who represented the district as recipients of the 2016 AP District of the Year award.
The 2017 Illinois Teacher of the Year will be announced during the “Those Who Excel” banquet on Saturday, Oct. 22, at the Bloomington-Normal Marriott Hotel and Conference Center in Normal. The winner will represent Illinois at NASA Space Camp in Huntsville, Ala., and in the Council of Chief State School Officers’ National Teacher of the Year Program.