PLT#3 has been fortunate to have several outstanding educators among their ranks over the years, but this year the district has seen two of those educators recognized for their outstanding efforts. In April, 6-12 Campus Principal Keith Stewart was honored for his leadership by the Illinois Principals Asociation/Northwest Region.
During the May PLT#3 board meeting, Tampico Elementary Principal Jim Geer had the pleasure of awarding the IPA’s Teacher Leadership Award to TES teacher Kate Fordham. She was selected for the honor by a committee from fifty nominations.
Fordham was unaware of the honor until Geer called her up during the board meeting.”I was very surprised and honored to receive the award. It was so thoughtful of Mr. Geer to nominate me. It meant so much to me that so many of the TES staff, some TES families, and my own family came to support me,” said Fordham.
Fordham has been at Tampico Elementary for 25 years, predating the consolidation with Prophetstown and Lyndon. She taught Pre-K for many years and now teaches second grade.
Here are a few excerpts from Fordham’s nomination submitted by Geer.
“Kate is a wonderful presence on the campus of TES. Not only can she easily be counted among the best teachers in the state, but her position in the school and the district is one of positive leadership. Kate is counted on to provide sound advice to new colleagues through her position as a mentor teacher, taking young teachers under her wing and helping them grow to their best possible teaching selves. She routinely goes above and beyond with campus pride, specifically the appearance of the garden and grounds. She utilizes her second grade classes, as well as her re-teaching classes (during PBIS expectation re-teaching) and beautifies the grounds while teaching kids about pride in hard work. Last spring she single-handedly scored three grants to build a school pollinator garden, and worked as hard as anyone else making it happen. She volunteered weekend time to till and install a fence. She and her students planted Illinois pollinator plants, installed pavers as walking stones, and spread mulch. Work continued as maintenance, such as watering, was done throughout spring, summer, and fall.”
“Aside from Kate’s talent with greenery and teaching kids (and colleagues) about hard work, she is an academic leader. No teacher sees more consistent academic growth from their groups as she does.”
“She has also volunteered her time to tutor a student who was going through chemotherapy and could not regularly attend school. On the last day of school, Kate arranged for the student to parade up and down the halls in recognition for his bravery in going through his medical ordeals, to which he was ending regular treatment for at the end of the school year. The family was so fond of her actions they invited her to the student’s last treatment at St. Jude’s last June, to which she gladly accepted the invite.”
Overall, every school should have a Kate Fordham, but they don’t.”
Fordham has been featured on Aroundptown.com many times for her efforts in the classroom. “I am blessed to work all these years at a job that I love!” she said.