Julie Collier, a Title I interventionist teacher at Stevenson Elementary School in Elk Grove Village, was in Springfield Tuesday evening, March 29, where she was honored with the Illinois PTA Teacher of the Year Award during the Illinois PTA Convention.
“I was honored, humbled, shocked, surprised, all of it, and most of all thankful,” Collier told the Journal. “I could not do it without everyone around me.” She said she was humbled “to be chosen out of this amazing team at Dist. 54 and at Stevenson. ”
Cheryl Gleason, president of both the Stevenson and School Dist. 54 PTAs, filed Collier’s nomination with the state PTA association and was at Tuesday’s awards dinner.
“Mrs. Collier is one of the most relational teachers you will ever meet. From your first encounter, you will quickly learn that she truly cares about you. She is quick to listen and is always ready to advocate for our students, ”Gleason’s nomination letter read. “As a Title I teacher, Mrs. Collier has made a school-wide impact. Whether a student is in kindergarten, second grade, fourth grade, or sixth grade, Mrs. Collier’s mark has been made in their lives. ”
Collier said she works across all grades with students identified as being at risk or struggling academically, mostly in reading and math. She has been a teacher at Stevenson since 2014.
Gleason’s nomination letter said Collier’s Title I teaching duties have her working as a small group instructor, as a one-to-one proctor for district assessments, “not to mention one of Stevenson’s biggest cheerleaders.” Before being the Title I interventionist, Collier worked as a sixth-grade teacher at Stevenson.
Collier’s work as a teacher began at a young age. She said in seventh grade she started working as a tutor for other students, something she continued through high school, bringing her to her professional career.
Illinois PTA officials were not immediately able to provide the number of teachers nominated for this year’s award, but said every individual school’s PTA in the state may nominate a teacher.
On Collier’s relationship with parents and the community, Gleason’s nomination letter said, “Mrs. Collier is very connected to her community! She is the first one to make a positive phone call home to parents and caregivers to share the latest celebrations of her students. She is quick to offer a two-way dialogue with parents.
“Most recently, Mrs. Collier has created a family game night to digitally share with all of the families at Stevenson. One of the goals of this game night is to foster relationships, within each family and with each student / teacher. Mrs. Collier’s Twitter feed is full of shout-outs celebrating students’ successes. You can often find Mrs. Collier having an ’emergency celebration’ when a student has been caught doing good or mastered a challenging task at hand. These celebrations often flow over into her peers, celebrating the good that she sees in them too! ”
Support local news by subscribing to the Journal & Topics in print or online.