Middle School Teacher Named Woodland's Gurnee Teacher of the Year
Woodland Middle School 6th Grade Social Studies Teacher Gloria Tinucci-Frank has been named one of the Village of Gurnee Teachers of the Year for 2023. Tinucci-Frank, along with the winning teachers from Warren Township High School and Gurnee District 56, were recognized by the village at the May 8 Board Meeting with an official plaque and a grant for $1,000 from the Henderson Foundation.
Gloria Tinucci-Frank began working for Woodland D50 in 2002 as a 7th Grade Social Studies Teacher. She is currently in her 21st year of teaching, with 21 total years of service to Woodland. Gloria has a BA in Elementary Education from Trinity International University, and an MA in Teacher Leadership from St. Xavier University.
Tinucci-Frank explained, "It is truly an honor and a surprise to be nominated by my students as Woodland's Teacher of the Year! I love teaching 6th grade because my students are friendly and enthusiastic, which always brings a smile to my face. Their happiness and energy levels are contagious. I am also passionate about sharing my love of history. This is a period of time when elementary students begin their journey into middle school, and begin to learn how to become independent thinkers. I work hard to make sure that students stay engaged and ultimately feel successful. I am truly lucky to be able to teach these kids and hopefully spark a love of learning that they can carry forward throughout their lives."
Woodland opened the Teacher of the Year nomination period in January. Staff, students, families and community members were invited to submit nominations for teachers and certified staff that go above and beyond to support Woodland's learning community, and who truly embrace the #LifeintheW spirit. We received nearly 200 nominations in a matter of a few weeks.
Mrs. Tinucci-Frank was nominated for the Gurnee Teacher of the Year award by several Woodland Middle School students. From the nomination forms, you can see that as an educator, she is making a connection with her students, and inspiring them to be their best.
Mrs. Tinucci-Frank's students appreciate how welcoming she is to everyone, and always greets students with a friendly smile and a good morning greeting to start the day. They describe her classroom as a safe and welcoming environment, where she fosters a sense of community in the classroom by allowing students to work together.
WMS Principal Tiffany Drake said, "She is the kind of teacher that makes learning fun with creative assignments and hands-on activities. Gloria is always willing to help her students overcome challenges, she gives students a chance to correct and improve their work, and she encourages her students to keep trying and never give up. These are skills that our students will be able to use for the rest of their lives."
Mrs. Tinucci-Frank was presented with the Teacher of the Year title at a team meeting where they were celebrating student achievements and recognizing the "Student of the Month" winners. Gloria was surprised when the Superintendent and Principal walked in with balloons and flowers and all of the students started cheering and clapping for her!
Dr. Robert Machak, Woodland D50 Superintendent stated, "Gloria's enthusiasm for teaching and learning is infectious; she is such a humble, positive person. It was so cool to see how excited her students were for her. They really love her. Gloria's dedication to our Woodland students and to her own growth as an educator are emblematic of the outstanding teaching staff we have here at Woodland. I'm honored to be able to work with someone like her each day."
Woodland selects a school winner from each of the four schools in the district. From the list of finalists, an overall winner is selected for recognition as the Village of Gurnee's Teacher of the Year. This year's four finalists are:
Elementary: Dani McLaughlin, 2nd Grade Dual Language Teacher
Primary: Tricia O'Neil, Kindergarten Teacher
Intermediate: Kimberly Kohler, 4th Grade Teacher
WMS: Gloria Tinucci-Frank, 6th Grade Teacher
The Village of Gurnee started the Teacher of the Year program in 2014 and Woodland D50 teachers, staff, students and district families look forward to the program each year.