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RIMSD#41 Educators of the Year Gala

RIMSD#41 hosted a virtual Educator of the Year gala on Thursday, April 15th. In 2020 the school district was going to host its first-ever teacher appreciation gala but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the gala was not able to be held. This year the celebration was held virtually and recognized the 2020 and 2021 winners.
Superintendent Dr. Lawrence emceed the event along with guest co-host Mikhalya Hughes-Shaw, a Rocky grad and local journalist. Rock Island High School Chamber singers gave a great performance during the ceremony! There were also special messages from Board of Education President Gary Rowe, Rock Island County Regional Superintendent Tammy Mueroff, and Congresswoman Cheri Bustos. 
The purpose of the event is to recognize the outstanding teachers from each school in our district. Each principal selected a teacher who is a tremendous support for students and demonstrates what it takes to be an outstanding teacher amongst their peers. You can read the honoree's nominations in the attached programs. 
Congratulations to all of our honorees!
2021 Educator of the Year Recipients:

Kara Thomas – Eugene Field

Emilie Heald – WJHS

Krista Dwinel – Thomas Jefferson

Steve VanDeWalle – TMLC

Alanah Alexander – EJHS

Michele McDonald – HMELC

Kelly Young – RIHS

Michele Blew – Denkmann

Kiley VanOpdorp – Longfellow

Kimberly Gardner – Frances Willard

Linda Anderson – Ridgewood

Amy Verstraete – Earl Hanson

Ashley Reeves – RIA

Susana Williams – RICMS

2020 Educator of the Year Recipients:

Tim Carroll - Edison

Mike Mertel - RIHS

Jessica Stockwell - Denkmann

Becky Morley -  Earl Hanson

Sallie Heine – Eugene Field

Becky DeJonghe - FW

Mandi Stout -  Longfellow

Wendy Kerker - Ridgewood

Stephanie Sanders- RIA

Alice Lee - RICMS

Troy Porter -  Thomas Jefferson

Kelli Brannen -  WJHS

Cheryl Gipson- TMLC

Denise Lekwa - HMELC