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Only Oswego

District 308 Teacher Finalist for Teacher of the Year

Sep 10, 2014 11:48AM ● By Steven Jack

Heather Kraus

Southbury Elementary School fifth-grade teacher Heather Kraus has been named a finalist in the prestigious Illinois Teacher of the Year program.

Kraus is among 12 finalists vying for this year's title bestowed by the Illinois State Board of Education. The winner will be announced during the Those Who Excel banquet Saturday, Oct. 25, at the Bloomington-Normal Marriott Hotel and Conference Center in Normal. 

“This program gives us the opportunity to meet outstanding educators at every level and recognize leadership and achievements in classrooms throughout Illinois,” said State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch. “Their passion, creativity and commitment to students is an inspiration. We are pleased to publicly recognize the individuals who make a difference in students’ lives every day.”

A selection committee made up of past Illinois Teacher of the Year winners, administrators, teachers and representatives from educational service personnel and student support personnel reviewed 231 nominations.

Earlier this year Kraus won the Lights of Literacy Award from Judson University in Elgin where she received her master's degree in literacy. 

"Heather brings out the best in everyone around her, and she works endlessly to help her students become high achievers in the areas of reading and writing,” said Southbury principal Lindsay Allen after Kraus received the Lights of Literacy Award.. “She is going to go much further in the field of literacy education because of her commitment to her students and to her colleagues.”

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Matthew Wendt gave kudos to Kraus at a recent ceremony.

“Thank you for your hard work, Heather, and congratulations,” Wendt said. “Thank you for representing Southbury and School District 308. I could not think of a better person to represent us statewide. No matter what happens, when you are in the top 12, you are doing something special.”
 
Kraus’ coworkers nominated her and kept her nomination a surprise until it was announced at Southbury.