Four District 118 teachers will be honored next week during an evening of song and dance.
The Danville Public School Foundation will sponsor the sixth annual An Evening of Singing and Dancing and the presentation of the Dr. David L. Fields Outstanding Teacher Awards, which starts at 7 p.m. April 12 in the Dick Van Dyke Auditorium at Danville High School.
The event celebrates excellence in teaching and spotlights the musical talent of the show choirs from North Ridge and South View middle schools and DHS. Mayor Scott Eisenhauer will be the master of ceremonies.
“The event was developed as a venue where teachers who win an excellence in teaching award can be recognized and, at the same time, to highlight the show choirs,” said Bob Richard, executive director of the Danville Public School Foundation.
“It’s surprising how many people haven’t heard these talented kids perform,” he said. “For $5 admission you are not going to get better family entertainment.
“All proceeds from the event go to the Danville Public School Foundation and the programs it supports, Richard said.
Performing that night will be the North Ridge Radiant Reds and Redcoats coached by David and Jennifer Woodrow, South View’s Encore directed by Brenna See and DHS’ Contemporaries and Delegation directed by Kassy Krause.
District 118 show choirs have been perennial winners in competitions across the Midwest for many years, and this year is no exception. Vocal quality, originality and choreography are the hallmarks of all five groups.
The event also honors teachers with an award named after former superintendent Fields, who served District 118 for 41 years before retiring in 2001.
“We encourage the principals at each of the schools to nominate a teacher,” Superintendent Mark Denman said.
A committee reviews the nominations — based on student success, collaboration, continued learning and leadership — and selects a winner from the high school, one of the middle schools and one or two elementary schools.
The winning teachers each receive a $500 personal honorarium from the foundation and an additional $500 stipend from District 118 to be used for classroom instruction and supplies.
Richard said the foundation also gives each winning teacher a paperweight with his or her name engraved on it and a framed certificate.
The teachers who will receive the 2013 David L. Fields Outstanding Teacher Awards are:
- Primary Teacher of the Year: Verna Graham, Southwest Elementary School.
Graham has been a kindergarten teacher her entire career at District 118. Graham initially worked at Daniel Elementary School, starting in 1986, and then moved to the newly built Southwest Elementary School in 2001.
“She is very child-focused and patient,” Denman said. “She’s a quiet leader.”
- Intermediate Teacher of the Year: Jeff Cooper, Garfield Elementary School.
Cooper started his career in District 118 as a third- and fourth-grade teacher at Northeast Elementary School in 1979. When East Park Middle School became an elementary school in 1987, Cooper became a fourth-grade teacher at East Park, but moved on in 1988 to become a fifth-grade teacher at Garfield Elementary School, where he has been ever since.
“He’s taught in the same school, in the same classroom, for 25 years,” Denman said. “He’s very motivating and an outstanding teacher.”
- Middle School Teacher of the Year: Mitzi Campbell, Kenneth D. Bailey Academy.
Campbell started out student teaching in Great Britain but wanted to work in an alternative school. Denman said she was “instrumental in the transition” of District 118’s alternative program to the Kenneth D. Bailey Academy this school year.
“She has a big heart for kids,” he said. “She’s very organized, very caring and very positive. She sometimes welcomes the students with a song in the morning.”
- High School Teacher of the Year: Chris Taylor, Danville High School.
Taylor started teaching English at DHS in 2002 after having taught in Windsor and at Schlarman High School.
“He has high expectations. He doesn’t let students opt out,” Denman said. “He’s always pleasant and has a way with kids.”
Tickets are $5 for the sixth annual “An Evening of Singing and Dancing” and the presentation of the Dr. David L. Fields Outstanding Teacher Awards, which starts at 7 p.m. Friday, April 12, in the Dick Van Dyke Auditorium at Danville High School.
Tickets may be purchased at either of the Danville McDonald’s locations, Neuhoff Broadcasting at 1501 N. Washington St., or at any Danville public school.