The 45th Educator of the Year Award Ceremony was on April 30, 2021. The event was virtual and was live-streamed through our YouTube and Facebook channels.

View photos from the 2021 #EOTY45 ceremony on Flickr here.

Susan Jones, a special education teacher from Batavia School District 101, was named the Educator of the Year. Jones has spent 33 years in education, and currently serves at Alice Gustafson Elementary. Jones is the recipient of a $3000 grant from the ROE to be used for a project of her choosing at her school.

Congratulations to This Year’s Nominees:

Early Career Educators
Jenni Frenette – D300
Gabrielle Haugen – D302
Scott Parola – D301
Kyle Pollastrini – D129

Educational Service Personnel
Holly Fitzgerald – U46
Terri Helfers – D304
Julie Larson – D129
Maggie Schroeder – U46
Magdalena Williams – D131

Elementary/Early Childhood
Jaime Erazo – U46
Victoria Haier – D131
Susan Jones – D101
Jeni Moe – D129
Heidi Ochsenschlager – D129
Liliana Ramirez – D131
Mary Sterr – D129
Tammy Thompson – D304

High School Teacher
Linda Brennan – D129
Allison Cable – D131
Kristy Harrier – D303
Brooke Heinsohn – D302
David Hintz – U46
Kim Johnson – D303
Jordan Zimberoff – D304

Middle School Teacher
Veronica Hancock – D303
Kendall Lawson – D302
Shawnna Strausberger – D131
Rebecca Wilding – D131

Private/Parochial
Lauren Cook – Aurora Central Catholic
Andrew Kolba – Elgin Academy
Mary Miller – Mooseheart Child City & School
Jessica Mina – St. Charles of Borromeo

School Administrator
Michelle Jones – D129
Jill Maras – D302
Shelley Nacke – D300
Renee Reynolds – D303
Armando Rodriguez – D131
Trisha Shrode – U46

Student Support Personnel
Adam Campos – D131
Cathy Fuller – D304
Kelly Gavin – D302
Megan Gow – D303
Kelly Hesselbaum – D304
Carolyn Komel – D302
Patricia Levinson – D300


For the past 45 years, the Regional Office of Education has held an award ceremony celebrating education in Kane County. Nominees should be exceptionally skillful and dedicated individuals in any school, public or private, pre-kindergarten through grade 12, who are planning to continue an active role in education. Nominees should have the respect and admiration of students, parents, and co-workers. They should play an active and useful role in their communities as well as in the schools, often distinguishing themselves as leaders. Their most important quality should be their superior ability to inspire the love of learning in students of all backgrounds and abilities.

Downloadable Documents for Educator of the Year