Western Illinois University alumnus Cory Chouinard from Moline has been chosen a 2022 Educator of the Year Honoree in the Rock Island/Milan school district.

This award recognizes outstanding teachers from schools around the district. Each principal selects a teacher who showcases a tremendous amount of support toward students’ achievements and demonstrates what it takes to be a teacher amongst peers, according to a Friday release from WIU.

“Western Illinois University provided the foundation to ensure my success in the classroom,” said Chouinard. “I think fondly of the professors whose dedicated efforts are reflected through my own approach to teaching. I am proud to share my recognition of Educator of the Year with WIU, along with my colleagues at Rock Island Academy, in this greater shared experience of teaching.”

The Rock Island/Milan district celebrated their educators of the year for each school at an April 8 gala at Stern Center, Rock Island. To be considered for an Educator of the Year, a person must exhibit the following criteria:

  1. The educator must have taught for at least five years.
  2. The educator must have evidenced exemplary skills in instructing children/young adults.
  3. The educator must strongly believe that all children/young adults can and will learn.
  4. The educator has continually shown evidence of self-motivation in seeking and engaging in professional growth activities for the purpose of improving and/or enhancing his or her educational offerings to children/young adults.
  5. The educator makes teaching and learning rigorous and exciting for children/young adults.

Superintendent Dr. Reginald Lawrence said: “If anyone has ever doubted the ability of an educator, their fears can be put to rest. Everyone has been a ROCK STAR over this last year. You were THERE for students, and that is what matters, your dedication and perseverance,” he said in a district release.

A complete list of the 2022 Educator of the Year Recipients:

  • Beth Voigt – Eugene Field Elementary School
  • Elizabeth Kantner – Longfellow Liberal Arts
  • Amanda Krahl – Edison Jr. High School
  • Sarah Stockwell – Frances Willard Elementary School
  • O’nita Donaldson-Watkins – Thurgood Marshall Learning Center
  • Linda Tobin – Thomas Jefferson Elementary School
  • Jennifer Swigart – Horace Mann Early Learning Center
  • Holly Hott – Washington Jr. High School
  • Gail Gant – Ridgewood Elementary School
  • Dr. Yolanda Grandberry-Pugh – Rock Island High School
  • Cory Chouinard – Rock Island Academy
  • Henry Hall – Earl Hanson Elementary School
  • Kris Hays – Rock Island Center for Math & Science
  • Mary Justin – Denkmann Elementary School

To see photos from the gala event, click HERE.