By Keith Beebe
KANELAND—A District 302 staff member has been recognized as an Educator of the Year in Kane County.
An awards banquet honoring Kane County 2011 Educator of the Year nominees was held on May 6 at the Pheasant Run Mega Center in St. Charles, with Julia Cloat, a Response to Intervention (RtI) facilitator at Kaneland John Stewart Elementary, taking home the award in the Associate Educator category.
The other District 302 nominees for Educator of the Year were John Stewart Custodian Noe Malagon (in the category of Support Staff), Blackberry Music Teacher Brandon Fox (Elementary Educator), Harter Middle School Science Teacher Charri Trembley (Middle School Educator) and Kaneland High School Biology Teacher Doug Ecker (High School Educator).
There is also an Administrator category.
Cloat said she actually felt a little embarrassed and unworthy upon hearing that she was nominated, and thought that several teachers in Kane County were deserving of a nomination.
“I truly felt that it was my team’s efforts that deserved the acknowledgment and that this was their award, not just my own,” she said. “The teachers who I work with are so dedicated to working hard and doing what is needed to help children learn every day. I don’t deserve to be recognized any more than any one of them.”
To be nominated as an Educator of the Year, fellow work colleagues must submit a letter of recommendation that is then reviewed by the Kaneland School District Educator of the Year committee. The committee then selects a Kaneland Educator of the Year for each category, and in turn, nominates all of the honorees for Kane County Educator of the Year.
The Associate Educator category pertains to any staff member in a certified position who is outside of the classroom: special education, intervention, etc.
“Julia (won) the R.B. Mades Award, which is given to the winner of the Associate Educator category,” Kaneland Superintendent Jeff Schuler said. “It was a great honor for her.”
The Regional Office of Education selects the winner of each category and then presents the winners at the Educator of the Year banquet, which is also meant to recognize the nominees from every district.
Cloat became a classroom teacher during the 1998-99 school year, which was also the year John Stewart opened. Cloat taught at JSE for six years before transferring to Blackberry Creek, where she served as a challenge teacher, reading teacher and literary specialist. She then returned to JSE for the 2008-09 school year and became the RtI facilitator.
“RtI is a multi-step approach to providing services and interventions to students whose academic and behavioral needs are not being met through the core curriculum,” she said. “It is my role to coordinate the interventions for the students who receive RtI services.”