Beth Kamano named as DGEEA Educator of the Year

Beth Kamano named as DGEEA Educator of the Year

Beth Kamano, reading specialist at Pierce Downer, was named 2023 Educator of the Year by the Downers Grove Elementary Education Association (DGEEA).

DGEEA leaders surprised Beth with the announcement during a Pierce Downer faculty meeting. The Teacher of the Year will be honored with this year's retirees during the Celebrate 58 banquet on Thursday, June 1.

Educator of the Year judges selected Beth for this honor after reading a nomination essay -- compiled by her colleagues Heather Howland, 4th grade teacher, and Sabrina Breault, 1st grade teacher, both at Pierce Downer --  that described Beth's countless contributions to students, to colleagues and to the profession throughout her career.

“She has had a tremendous impact on the lives of every student that has been blessed enough to walk through her door,” said the nomination. “Her students have fun, learn, and work hard.  The same goes for teachers.  Her colleagues constantly ask her questions and advice, usually during her lunch, and we walk away with strategies or materials to help our students.” Nominators also noted that she also goes above and beyond to motivate students through earning lunch with her.  “She not only helps every child to read, but she also takes the time to connect with them and build a meaningful relationship,” the nomination read.

This year's judges included several former Educator of the Year winners. The group used a rubric to score each nomination form.

The DGEEA congratulates and thanks all of the 2023 Educator of the Year nominees for their dedication and service: 

  • Jennifer Barriball, Indian Trail 3rd grade teacher
  • Terri LaVia, Hillcrest resource teacher
  • Mallory Poe, Indian Trail social worker
  • Marissa Remus, Fairmount kindergarten teacher 
  • Andrew Schmidt, Herrick math teacher
  • Kelly Wyatt, El Sierra 1st grade teacher