U-46 to honor teachers and school nurses at May 3 board meeting
The Elgin Area School District U-46 board will take time to salute both teachers and school nurses during the May 3 board meeting, noting how these professionals courageously supported the U-46 community during the COVID-19 pandemic. The board will also recognize a teacher who recently earned National Board Certification.
"When the COVID-19 pandemic first struck, our teachers had to immediately pivot to remote learning, adapting to new technology and instructional approaches," said U-46 Superintendent Tony Sanders. "As the pandemic continued, they had to keep their students engaged and maintain those vital connections -- as well as adjust to changing schedules as we were able to safely return some students to limited in-person instruction. I admire the work our teachers do every single day, but I am glad to formally honor them during this special week."
U-46 employs nearly 2,700 teachers who work across 56 school sites. May 2-8 is recognized nationwide as Teacher Appreciation Week, a celebration of educators sponsored by the National Education Association. The board will issue a proclamation Monday night as part of its recognition efforts.
Tied to Teacher Appreciation Week, the U-46 Educational Foundation is inviting families to honor a teacher by making a donation to the foundation. Donors will get to customize a card with a personalized message that will be sent to the teacher along with a #ThankATeacher pin for the teacher to wear on their lanyard. So far, parents, students, and alumni have made donations in honor of nearly 100 different teachers.
Funds raised through the campaign will go back to teachers via innovation grants for the upcoming 2021-22 school year. Details can be found at u-46.org/foundation.
The board also will designate May 6 as School Nurse Day, which is celebrated on the Wednesday within National Nurse Week. U-46 employs 90 nurses -- 68 Registered Nurses and 22 Certified School Nurses, who are specially credentialed RNs.
"The dedication shown by our team of Certified and Registered Nurses during the COVID-19 pandemic has been amazing," Superintendent Sanders said. "Our nurses are always a vital part in meeting the needs of today's students, but the role nurses have played in helping our schools throughout this pandemic has again demonstrated their strength and resilience."
Finally, the U-46 board will honor South Elgin High School math teacher Holly Saxton, who recently earned her National Board Certification, the highest credential in the teaching profession. National Board Certified teachers must demonstrate they meet the highest standards through a rigorous performance-based peer-review process. Also to be honored will be Martha Hernandez, a fourth-grade dual language teacher at Oakhill Elementary School, who recently renewed her National Board Certification.
The board will recognize teachers and school nurses with "Accent on Achievement" certificates during its meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, May 3. Members of the public may join the meeting live via a Zoom webinar at us02web.zoom.us/j/89241257700. Members of the public can speak to the board through the Zoom application during the public comment portion of the meeting, or in person, although social distancing restrictions will be in place. Learn more about the options for board attendance here. The meeting will also livestream on the district's YouTube channel.