CONGRATULATIONS to Missy Matuga, "English As A Second Language" teacher at Parkland Middle School in McHenry for being selected as TEACHER OF THE YEAR and has been awarded an IPAD from Home State Bank & Star 105.5!
"Missy Matuga should be 105.5's Teacher of the Month because she goes above and beyond her teaching job title! Not only has Missy worked as an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher at Parkland for six years, but she has truly helped to develop our quickly growing ESL program. Missy has her own classroom of mostly Spanish speaking students where she teaches them in a smaller group setting and frequently monitors their progress. Our ESL program goes far beyond her classroom. She oversees every student in our school who is in the process of exiting the ESL program or who has recently exited the program as well. This means she has to spend weeks planning tests and communicating with teachers, the students needing to be tested and their schedules. She also works daily in several other classrooms where ESL students are 'mainstreamed' so that she can co-teach and assist these students where needed. Missy truly cares about her student's education and home lives. I've heard Missy check in with students to assure that they have simple necessities such as breakfast or jackets. Missy also coaches the Dance Team, holds after school study/homework groups, and runs the Spirit Club where she organizes school wide events like 'Pack the Place' wrestling, volleyball, and basketball games. Occasionally these clubs overlap and she is needed in two or three places at once and somehow she does it, successfully! Missy's school spirit at Parkland can be seen not only in her own club with the students but also in her way to rally the faculty together to choreograph dance routines to perform at student ISAT test assemblies. On top of all of these commitments, Missy volunteers her time at EVERY Friday night dance as our very own in-house DJ! This saves money for our school and the students love sending her requests over email and learning new line dances that she helps lead during the dances! Overall, Missy is a wonderful teacher and role model to the students at Parkland and even the staff. I respect Missy, and I look up to her myself as a fellow teacher! The time and effort Missy puts in to our students is remarkable and something to be recognized!" -Kristen O.
CONGRATULATIONS to Fourth Grade Teacher at Glacier Ridge Elementary School, Ms. Gretchen Thomas!
"Ms. Thomas is a teacher that thinks outside the box when it comes to making sure that each and every one of her students receives the best learning experience possible. For example, when she teaches us new math it's like she is not teaching us at all. We have been known to conga our way down the hallway to learn new concepts until everyone gets it. We don't stop having fun in order to learn. She is always working to bring new ways of learning to our class. We do things that other classrooms do not have the opportunity to do. She has made teaching her life long career but it is truly her passion and comes from her heart. She is simply amazing at teaching. She gives up her lunch and her private planning time to work with students that need extra help. She is at the school from sun up to sun down making sure that our classroom is ready to go! Our class has learned to connect more with nature because she cared enough to take over the courtyard and we have planted and worked the area so that we knew what it was like to work on a farm. We clean up trash, plant flowers and take care of feeding birds. We are lucky as no other class does this. She has taught us that it is ok to fail! That really the only failure in life is not trying. No other teacher compares to Ms. Thomas. She says she does not have any kids of her own and that we are her kids and family. I think that me and my classmates are the lucky ones! She has taught us that it is ok to fail and that the only true failure in life is to not try at all." -Kayla B.
Pic 2 – Letter writer, Kayla Burrows…Teacher, Ms Gretchen Thomas…Home State Banking Center Supervisor, Bobbie Novak