District 301 English teacher named Kane Educator of the Year
Teachers have tremendous power to shape the lives of students in their charge.
Yet, with great power comes great responsibility, says Tina Scruggs, an English language arts teacher at Central Unit District 301's Prairie Knolls Middle School in Elgin who was named the 2019 Kane County Educator of the Year.
"Teachers are in a position to do such great things and to help our students," said Scruggs, who received the award Friday during a ceremony at the Q Center in St. Charles. "It's a very powerful position as we are responsible for giving them the tools to be successful not only in the classroom but in the real world."
The Kane County Regional Office of Education's annual awards recognize outstanding teachers throughout the county who have been nominated by their peers.
The theme for the 44th awards ceremony was superheroes. Thirty-six educators were honored after being nominated by local committees and earning the respect of students, parents, colleagues and community members. Nominees also play active roles in their communities and schools and distinguish themselves as leaders.
"Tonight, we celebrate the years of education, leadership, assistance and inspiration in our schools and for our students," Regional Superintendent Pat Dal Santo said during the ceremony. "We honor the hours spent dedicated to engaging students and inspiring the young minds of the future."
Other award recipients are:
• Regional Superintendent Award -- Rachel Rodriguez, Central High School in Burlington, Burlington Central Unit District 301.
• Private/Parochial Teacher Award -- James Kidston, Elgin Academy.
• Educational Service Personnel Award -- Susan Sensor, Kaneland Blackberry Creek Elementary School in Elburn, Kaneland Unit District 302.
• Student Support Personnel Award -- Karen Osborne, Fox Meadow Elementary School in South Elgin, Elgin Area School District U-46.
• Early Career Educator Award -- Kevin Ryan Ongtengco, West Aurora High School, West Aurora Unit District 129.
• Preschool Teacher of the Year -- Denise Halleran, O'Donnell Elementary in Aurora, East Aurora Unit District 131.
• Elementary School Teacher of the Year -- Christine Purnell, Kaneland John Stewart Elementary School in Elburn, District 302.
• Middle School Teacher of the Year -- Katherine White-Seydel, Carpentersville Middle School, Community Unit District 300.
• High School Teacher of the Year -- Derek Sutor, Geneva High School, Geneva Unit District 304.
• School Administrator of the Year -- Stephen Morrill, Thompson Middle School in St. Charles, St. Charles Unit District 303.