District 186 Educator Of The Year

Education Programs

Christie Jones, an eighth grade writing, literature and AVID teacher at Lincoln Magnet School is the 2019 Springfield (Illinois) Public Schools - Horace Mann Educator of the Year. Jones has worked for Springfield School District 186 for 32 years and is noted for her leadership, engaging projects, enthusiasm, high expectations, caring nature and supporting students in their college and career exploration.

The announcement marked the 32nd consecutive year for this teacher recognition program in the hometown of Horace Mann’s headquarters. Horace Mann has sponsored and supported the program since its inception.

Five finalists for the Educator of the Year Award were celebrated for their teaching excellence at the May 7 luncheon, and short video presentations depicted their stories for families and friends before the 2019 recipient was announced. As the Educator of the Year, Christie Jones received a crystal owl statue and $1,000. The four other finalists – Abbey Dirksen, Southeast High School; Sherry Frachey, Iles School; Dan Hartman, Dubois Elementary School; and Sharon Jones, Hazel Dell Elementary School – each received a commemorative crystal apple and $250.

Recognition Grows

In 2009, Horace Mann and Springfield Public Schools added the Rising Star Award to the annual district-wide recognition program and in 2013 added the Administrator of the Year award.

The 2019 Administrator of the Year is Hazel Dell Elementary School Principal Jamar Scott. He was given a keepsake and $500. The two other finalists – Arwah Franklin, Community Based Programs; and Kenyatta Revelle, Iles School – each received a keepsake and $250.

The 2019 Rising Stars are Beverly Harmon, Fairview Elementary School; Janette Smith, Early Learning Center; and Abigail Vespa, Fairview Elementary School. They each received a keepsake and $250.

Previous Educator of the Year Winners

  • 2018: Lori Moore – Fairview Elementary School
  • 2017: ReChad Bradley – Southeast High School
  • 2016: Layne Zimmers – Lincoln Magnet School
  • 2015: Jeff Lightfoot – Springfield High School
  • 2014: Dee Dee Duffy – Early Learning Center
  • 2013: Maryna Mitchell – Lanphier High School
  • 2012: Melissa Beckler – Washington Middle School
  • 2011: Susan Kepp - Dubois Elementary School
  • 2010:  Teresa Holton – Southeast High School
  • 2009:  Sandra Bauer – Iles Elementary School
  • 2008:  Tamara Douglass – Southeast High School
  • 2007:  Nancy Pence – Springfield High School
  • 2006:  Sara Oehlert – Harvard Park Elementary School
  • 2005:  Tracy Buscher – Southeast High School
  • 2004:  Joseph Bunch – Springfield High School
  • 2003:  Deborah Huffman – Lanphier High School
  • 2002:  Teri Neff – Owen Marsh Elementary School
  • 2001:  Donna Jefferson – Owen Marsh Elementary School
  • 2000:  Robert Mitchell Jr. – Washington Middle School
  • 1999:  Keith Kincaid – Sandburg Elementary School
  • 1998:  Diana Roth – Lanphier High School
  • 1997:  Jim Broch – Grant Middle School
  • 1996:  Jill Grove – Jefferson Elementary School
  • 1995:  Bette Wells – Pleasant Hill Elementary School
  • 1994:  Mary C. Jackson – Springfield High School
  • 1993:  Jane Lawder – Iles Elementary School
  • 1992:  Jean Ahlberg – Lanphier High School
  • 1991:  Dennis E. Morris – Lee and Sandburg Elementary School
  • 1990:  Raymond Bruzan – Lanphier High School
  • 1989:  Melinda LaBarre – Jefferson Elementary School
  • 1988:  Sandra Carlson – Sandburg Elementary School


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© 2017 Horace Mann Educators Corporation

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