An Illinois State University doctoral student has been named the 2018 Illinois Teacher of the Year.
Lindsey Jensen teaches English, including Advanced Placement English, Shakespeare, American literature, drama, and composition, for 11th- and 12th-grade students at Dwight Township High School.
The Illinois State Board of Education on Saturday honored 235 teachers, educational leaders, and support personnel at a banquet at the Uptown Normal Marriott Hotel and Conference Center.
“Lindsey Jensen exemplifies teacher leadership,” State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith said in a statement. “Leadership to me means taking responsibility for things you care about. Lindsey Jensen does just that. Students leave her classroom with an expanded understanding of their own potential. We are privileged to have this extraordinary educator represent the state as our 2018 Illinois Teacher of the Year.”
Jensen is currently working on her doctorate in teaching and learning from Illinois State.
Colleagues and students described Jensen as infusing the best of research-based instructional practices with high expectations and infectious positivity. Jensen also supervises student teachers, coaches her colleagues, volunteers as an adviser for students’ extracurricular clubs and activities, and serves her professional association.
“I believe education equals empowerment,” Jensen said in a statement. “Teachers are in the business of human beings, and teaching requires becoming part of students’ lives and making connections that no other professional experiences.”
As Illinois Teacher of the Year, Jensen will have an opportunity to share her knowledge and expertise outside the classroom. Jensen will be available beginning in the spring of 2018 to speak at teaching workshops, education conferences, and community meetings.
Editor's note: This story has been updated from a previous version to reflect that Jensen has not yet graduated from Illinois State University. She is currently enrolled as a student.
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