First Annual Teacher of the Year Award Ceremony to Be Held Monday, April 7th

For Release: 
Mar 31, 2014


GURNEE, IL – The first annual Teacher of the Year Award Ceremony for teachers in Districts 50, 56 and 121 will be held on Monday, April 7th at Gurnee Village Hall (325 N. O’Plaine Road) as part of the Village Board’s regular meeting beginning at 7:30 p.m. Mayor Kristina Kovarik and the Village Board, in conjunction with Superintendents Dr. Joy Swoboda of Woodland District 50, Dr. John Hutton of Gurnee School District 56 and Dr. Mary Perry-Bates of Warren Township High School District 121, will recognize the 2014 Teachers of the Year from each of the respective Gurnee-area school districts. These new, annual awards were created through the collaboration of the Village, school districts and local business owner Donald Henderson under the leadership of Village Trustee Tom Hood.  The awards recognize the distinguished accomplishments of a peer-nominated recipient from each district in service to their students, schools and school district. This year’s inaugural winners are Roshaunda Henson (District 50), Judy Lawrence (District 56) and Bob Mayne (District 121).

Roshaunda Henson joined Woodland District 50 in 2002 as a second grade teacher at Elementary East. Henson has taught second grade for 10 years and is currently a second grade reading specialist at Elementary East. During her time with District 50, Henson has served on various district committees, served as a team leader for two years and has been awarded various grants by the Woodland Educational Foundation for technologies in the classroom.

Elementary East Principal Dr. Ken Hyllberg said, “Elementary East is very fortunate to have Roshaunda Henson among its faculty…she is a role model for both students and staff, treating all students and colleagues with respect.”

Judy Lawrence has taught in Gurnee School District 56 for 20 years. During her time with the District, Lawrence has served on curriculum committees and led professional development and school improvement opportunities at River Trail School and throughout the District. For the past four years, Lawrence has been a member of the District’s Instructional Leadership Team. Lawrence has helped pilot the Children’s Progress Academic Assessment (CPAA) and has been a leader in finding ways to utilize the data produced. Lawrence has also worked to ensure that learning continues throughout the year, using a home/study communication program to contact students each week over the summer.

Hutton lauded Lawrence’s accomplishments and said, “She is a shining star in a sea of outstanding teachers at Gurnee School District 56.”

Bob Mayne began his teaching career in 1979 and has been teaching at Warren Township High School since 1994. Mayne has taught students from seventh grade through high school in subjects including English, Journalism and Psychology. At District 121, Mayne has taught a variety of English courses at both campuses. In 2008, Mayne also became the Lead Teacher for the English Department at the O’Plaine campus. Mayne has been awarded two fellowships for summer seminars from the National Endowment for the Humanities in 1990 and 2001. Mayne cites his family as his inspiration to teach English and “attributes his success in teaching to the numerous colleagues who share his love and passion for teaching.”

Regarding the awards, Trustee Tom Hood said, “The Village is proud of each school district in town and desires to support our schools in real and meaningful ways.  Providing a forum in which each District can put forward a teacher that embodies their efforts in providing a quality education to the young people in our Village is just one way in which we can support our school districts’ efforts."

The awards will be presented by Mayor Kovarik, Donald Henderson and the Superintendents from each school district. In addition to the plaque recognizing their achievement, each teacher will receive a check for $1,000.00 from the Donald Henderson Foundation. 


Date: Monday, March 31, 2014
Contact: Jennifer Sleyko, Management Intern
Ph: 847-599-7516