Two area school teachers are among the nine finalists named for this school year's Illinois Teacher of the Year.
They are Carol Mertes, a 1st-grade teacher at Clifford Johnson School in East Aurora, and Josh Stumpenhorst, who teaches language arts and social science to 6th-graders at Lincoln Junior High School in Naperville Community School District 203.
The finalists, announced Wednesday, were chosen from among 175 nominations reviewed by a selection committee of administrators, teachers, support personnel representatives and past winners. Nominations are scored based on personal background, nomination recommendations, and answers to questions focusing on student success, collaboration, continuous learning and leadership.
The top teacher will be named Oct. 22 at a banquet in Normal. The winner will represent Illinois at the NASA Space Camp in Huntsville, Ala. and in the Council of Chief State School Officers' National Teacher of the Year Program.
The 2010-11 winner was Annice Brave, an English and journalism teacher at Alton High School in Alton Community Unit School District 11.