Jen Leban has been teaching for Elmhurst CUSD 205 since graduating from Elmhurst College in December of 2001. Jen has taught art at Sandburg Middle School and recently transitioned to teaching technology.
Jen believes that teaching has changed a lot since she first started, and that to be a good teacher, one has to be ok with being uncomfortable and letting go of a certain amount of control in the classroom. She encourages educators to “embrace the challenge, and be ready to learn alongside your students. They will appreciate you for it and take pride in helping to teach you some new things, too.” Jen hopes that her students would describe her as a creative person, who loves what she does and cares about them as people.
Jen says that one of the best parts about being a teacher is that she has constant opportunities to learn new things. She gets bored easily, and therefore, is always trying to find out what’s next. Recently, Jen was a member of the LAX18 Google Certified Innovator Cohort. Her project, a YouTube channel called Reset EDU, is a creation of her mission which is to motivate, empower, and inspire teachers to embrace new ideas for learning and teaching.
Jen is a National Board Certified educator who feels that the program taught her to deeply reflect upon her classroom practice and analyze the work that educator’s do to improve teaching. Additionally, she feels that it is important for educators to practice self-care and reach out to others to remain mindful of priorities.
Jen is one of 10 finalists for Illinois Teacher of the Year, who will be named at the Those Who Excel banquet in Normal on October 19.
Tanya Katovich teaches chemistry at Hoffman Estates High School, located in Hoffman Estates, Illinois.
Tanya is a National Board Certified educator who utilizes an inquiry-based approach to learning within her classroom. Not only does she strive for students to excel, but she also works to provide professional development opportunities for secondary science educators within her school and around the state.
Tanya is one of 10 finalists for Illinois Teacher of the Year, who will be named at the Those Who Excel banquet in Normal on October 19.