North Central College - Naperville, IL

North Central College alumnus named finalist for Illinois Teacher of the Year Award

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Josh Stumpenhorst '03 Teacher of the Year finalist
Josh Stumpenhorst '03 Teacher of the Year finalist

North Central College alumnus Josh Stumpenhorst is among nine finalists for the 2011-2012 Illinois Teacher of the Year Award.

“I’m very humbled and grateful,” Stumpenhorst said of his nomination. “We don’t go into this profession to receive recognition.”

Stumpenhorst, a 2003 graduate of North Central College, teaches language arts and social science to sixth graders at Lincoln Junior High School in Naperville Community Unit School District 203. He credits his experience at North Central for helping him achieve success as an educator.

“I had great mentors at North Central, professors who had a profound impact on me even though in some cases I wasn’t even a student in their classes,” he said. “North Central does an outstanding job getting student teachers into classrooms, and the only way to learn how to teach is through real-life experience.”

Stumpenhorst also is a team leader, boys basketball coach, track coach, member of the social science curriculum committee and serves as an advisor to Lincoln’s computer club. He writes about his teaching experiences on his blog, Stump the Teacher.

As a student at North Central, Stumpenhorst participated in the Junior/Senior Scholars Program, a college readiness program established in 1989 for students K-12. North Central education majors work with elementary and high school students from high-need schools in Chicago and Aurora to acquaint them with the college experience and inspire them to consider pursuing their educations beyond high school.

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) named nine finalists who represent schools across the state and who are selected from nominees through ISBE’s “Those Who Excel” educator recognition program.

“Every day these eight teachers encourage, support and engage students in learning,” said Illinois State Board of Education Chairman Gery J. Chico. “Illinois is fortunate to have many, many outstanding teachers who are committed to helping students achieve and succeed. The teachers who have been chosen as finalists represent the best of the best, and this program enables us to publicly recognize them for their dedication to education.”

Approximately 175 nominations were reviewed this year by a selection committee comprised of administrators, teachers and representatives from educational service personnel, student support personnel and past Illinois Teacher of the Year winners.

The 2011-2012 Illinois Teacher of the Year will be announced Oct. 22 during the Those Who Excel banquet in Normal. The Teacher of the Year 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.