Seven Illinois State University College of Education alumni have been inducted into the college’s Alumni Hall of Fame.
Cathy Flannery, of LaSalle, taught science and health in LaSalle County for over 25 years. Flannery recently retired from a consultancy at McGraw Hill. In that capacity, Flannery learned of the University’s need for up-to-date teaching materials and gifted two large collections of materials that are now available at Milner Library’s Teaching Materials Center. Flannery earned a bachelor’s in education in 1972 and a master’s in education in 1980.
Patti Hodges, of Springfield, began her career as a middle school math teacher and in 1979, pursued a staff position at the Illinois Education Association (IEA). Over 30 years later, Hodges continues her work at IEA, serving over 135,000 teachers and supports staff in Illinois, as the Director of Field Services for 22 field sites throughout the State. Hodges graduated in 1972 with a bachelor’s in education.
At Illinois State, Keith Jepsen, of New York City, became the first intern to work in the Student Services Office and was later hired by the Financial Aid Office. Jepsen’s 43-year career in higher education finance at the international, national, state and university levels started at Illinois State. He is now president of Global Student Loan Corporation, a private company that facilitates educational loans for international students. He and his wife established a scholarship at Illinois State to support international travel and educational experiences in diverse cultures and communities for future teachers. Jepsen earned a bachelor’s in 1967 and a master’s in 1968.
Ngozi Onuora, of Decatur, holds an endorsement in middle level education and certifications in general administration and superintendency. Onuora began her teaching career in her hometown of Decatur and is currently an instructor at Milliken University. Onuora earned a bachelor’s in middle level education in 1991.
Deanne Perkins, of Normal, is a classroom teacher and serves as the chair of the special education department at Kingsley Junior High in Normal. She is a National Board certified teacher and is an enthusiastic supporter of the vital partnerships—fieldwork and student teaching—between Illinois State’s Department of Special Education and colleagues in her department. Perkins earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in special education in 1997 and 2005, respectively.
Linda Tomlinson, of Speer, is the assistant superintendent for School Support Services for the Illinois State Board of Education where she serves on the State Teacher Certification Board and provides training on the accreditation review process to teacher education institutions. Tomlinson earned a doctorate in educational administration and foundations in 2006.
Sharon Kay Weiss, of Peoria, an educator for 35 years, began her career as a classroom teacher of French and German. Weiss is the principal of St. Patrick’s Grade School in Washington. In 2009, the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) recognized Weiss as one of the nation’s Catholic elementary school principals. Weiss earned a bachelor’s in French in 1976 and an Ed.D in educational administration and foundations in 2006.