Four District 118 teachers will be honored Friday night during an evening of song and dance.

The Danville Public School Foundation, along with District 118, will co-sponsor An Evening of Singing and Dancing and the presentation of the Dr. David L. Fields Outstanding Teacher Awards.

Tickets are $5 for the event, which starts at 7 p.m. in the Dick Van Dyke Auditorium.

It will feature the musical talent of Danville High School’s Contemporaires and Delegation directed by Martha Lindvahl and North Ridge Middle School’s Radiant Reds and Red Coats sponsored by Jennifer Woodrow. The evening also will include a performance by Northeast Elementary Magnet School students.

Bob Richard, executive director of the Danville Public School Foundation, said it was foundation member Deanna Witzel who suggested adding entertainment to the awards presentation a few years back.

“She wanted a venue to bring out more people for the awards night, and what better way than to showcase the show choirs,” he said.

“They get to see some fantastic entertainment, and they get to recognize teachers who have shown their passion for teaching,” Richard said of the public.

Associate superintendent Dianna Kirk said it is quite an honor for a teacher to receive an award named after former superintendent Fields, who served District 118 for 41 years before retiring in 2001.

“To have an award with his name on it, it’s prestigious and it’s an honor to be associated with him.”

Principals at each of the district’s schools nominate a teacher in his or her building based on student achievement, collaboration, continued learning and leadership, Kirk said.

A committee led by Superintendent Mark Denman reviews the nominations and selects a winner from the high school, one of the middle schools and one or two elementary schools, she said.

The winning teachers each receive a $500 personal honorarium from the foundation and an additional stipend from District 118 to be used for classroom instruction.

Richard said the foundation also gives each winning teacher a paperweight with his or her name engraved on it and a framed certificate.

“This evening is one of the most special evenings,” Kirk said. “It’s a good Friday night in Danville.

“People from the schools who have a winner get their buildings together to attend the event, and you’ve got the show choir crowd that comes out,” she said.

“It’s a very special night,” Kirk said. “Really, to be recognized is the best honor.”

The teachers who will receive the 2011 David L. Fields Outstanding Teacher Awards are:

  • Susie Willard, Liberty Elementary School — Willard captivates her third-grade students with stories, artifacts and real-life experiences. She is a master at building background knowledge with students, especially in the areas of history, agriculture and science. A writing specialist, the 35-year veteran began her teaching career at Roselawn School in 1976.
  • Leola Davis, Northeast Elementary Magnet School — Fourth-grade students at Northeast know that their teacher, Mrs. Davis, has high expectations for each of them. Leaving no stone unturned, Davis works relentlessly to ensure that each child grows both academically and socially during their time with her. Davis has been a valued member of the district for 38 years.
  • Clint Cunningham, North Ridge Middle School — Encouraging all students to do their best to succeed, Cunningham, a 10-year veteran, motivates students through the use of technology, group activities and hands-on projects in his work as a math and science teacher. Cunningham encourages students to work to the best of their ability and to act positively with one another. A leader of teachers, Cunningham demonstrates the ability to work with all staff members to ensure a supportive and nurturing learning environment.
  • Garnet Nixon, Danville High School — Nixon is an energetic and engaging educator who blends her superb content knowledge with her ability to challenge students. Nixon’s brightness, intelligence, sensitivity and zest for living make her an invaluable professional. A member of the DHS English Department for the past 31 years, Nixon exemplifies the word, “teacher.” During the years, she has served as a leader in her school, both officially as a department head through 2004 and unofficially as a mentor to her peers.

    If you go
    The Danville Public School Foundation, along with District 118, will co-sponsor An Evening of Singing and Dancing and the presentation of the Dr. David L. Fields Outstanding Teacher Awards. Tickets are $5 for Friday’s event, which starts at 7 p.m. in the Dick Van Dyke Auditorium.

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