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Educator of the Year

The IDEA Educator of the Year program honors current IDEA members who have made outstanding contributions integrating technology in education. The award is specifically designed to recognize IDEA educators at all experience levels—from the beginner to the advanced user.

There are two categories for the annual Educator of the Year awards:

  • K-12 Classroom Teachers
  • Educator (Other Staff or Administrator)

Nominations are reviewed by the IDEA Awards Committee, and final selections are recommended to the IDEA Executive Board for confirmation. 

Educator of the Year Awards are presented at IDEAcon.

If you have any questions, please contact the IDEA team at

2022 Classroom Teacher Category

Sawsan Jaber

High School Teacher

Leyden High School District 212

"The nominee stands out for her action, her voice, and her commitment to excellence. She is an active leader in her district creating and developing initiatives and committees to establish a stance of equity and diversity.

In the classroom, she is an energetic force who uses her passion to compel her students to rise above their challenges, seek out knowledge, and set goals for personal growth. She cares so very deeply about her students, her community, and sharing her voice for positive change."

2022 Educator Category

Mary Jo Minarich 

Lead Building Technology Specialist

Channahon School District 17

"This nominee has taken the lead in our district when it comes to innovating and creating engaging learning experiences for students. She has created a space for our youngest learners to visit where they can explore STEM and STEAM using high tech, low tech, and no tech activities. Her STEM/STEAM lab was the first in our district, and she built it from the ground up and it has been used as a model for the other STEM/STEAM labs in our district."

Past Honorees - Teacher Category

  • Tasha Ohotzke, 2021

  • Joanna Carroll, 2020

  • Dr. John Beerbower, Ed.D., 2019

  • Darcy O'Connor, 2018
  • Shannon Schroeder, 2017
  • Maggie Maslowski, 2016
  • Michael Biondo, 2015
  • Paul A. Solarz, 2014
  • Robert M. Lightfoot, 2013
  • Josh Stumpenhorst, 2012
  • Anthony Reibel, 2011

  • Laurelle Lonze Stuart, 2010

  • Melissa Gosche, 2009

  • Christy Marchessault, 2008

  • Diane Goerlitz, 2007

  • Jeff Doles, 2006

  • Brian Schultz, 2005

  • Susan Homes, 2004

  • Joe Brennan, 2003

  • Bob Shaw, 2002

Past Honorees - Technology Using Educator Category

  • Jason Rubo, 2021

  • John Connolly, 2020

  • Jennifer Waldvogel, 2019

  • Sheila M. Ruh, 2018

  • Lee Cook, 2017

  • Jennifer M. Smith, 2016

  • Phil Hintz, 2015

  • Marisa Burkhart, 2014

  • Lisa Perez, 2013

  • Ben Grey, 2012

  • Jay Blackman, 2011

  • Christopher Brown, 2010

  • Teri Rossman, 2009

  • Kate Isabelli, 2008

  • Charlene Chausis, 2007

  • Judith Satkiewicz, 2006

  • Marianne Fedak, 2005

  • Cheri Pinchot, 2004

Call: 630 628 1088

2735 Hassert Blvd.

Ste 135 PMB 304

Naperville, Illinois 60564

©2019 Illinois Digital Educators Alliance. All rights reserved.

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