The Illinois Senate got an up-close look at the face of teaching excellence, as the chamber welcomed Dwight Township High School’s Lindsey Jensen, the 2018 Illinois Teacher of the Year, according to State Sen. Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington).
“Teachers have such an enormous impact on their students. They helped shape us into who we are and they continue to shape the next generations,” said Sen. Barickman. “It’s incredibly important to recognize them for the vital work they do and to honor excellence in education, of which Lindsey is an outstanding example.”
Lindsey teaches AP English, American Literature, Poetry, Drama, Creative Writing, and Shakespeare at Dwight Township High School, and has also served as Drama Director, Cheerleading Coach, Musical Director, Gamers Club Supervisor, Polar Plunge Team Coordinator, and Student Council Advisor.
She is currently finishing up her PhD at Illinois State University, not to move out of teaching and into administration, but with the goal of becoming the best educator that she can be. She was nominated for the 2017-18 “Those Who Excel/Illinois Teacher of the Year” by Tim Henson, Dwight Chief of Police, and Dwight Public School District 230.
“It is the greatest honor of my life to serve as the 2018 Illinois Teacher of the Year, a role that has allowed me to cultivate a fierce, unapologetic voice for educational advocacy,” said Jensen. “I want to thank Senator Barickman for all that he does to elevate the teaching profession and to celebrate all teachers.”
Nominations for Teacher of the Year were scored three times by a committee established by the Illinois State Board of Education. Video-taped interviews were then conducted with ten remaining finalists to be reviewed, along with their nomination packets by State School Superintendent Tony Smith. Based on Lindsey’s passion for teaching, her commitment to students, and her dedication to the profession, Superintendent Smith selected her to be the 2018 Illinois Teacher of the Year.
“It’s a tremendous blessing to have great teachers like Lindsey throughout our state,” said Barickman. “We owe a great deal of gratitude to all of our teachers for the dedication and commitment they give every day to improving the lives of our students.”