The Examiner U-46 News Feed
Teachers, students recognized by Dist. U-46
By Seth Hancock
A trio of high school students and two teachers in School District U-46 were recognized by the Board of Education at its meeting on Monday, March 18.
Julie Denz, a Spanish teacher at Streamwood High School, renewed her National Board Certification with the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards and Gisselle Moreira, a dual language teacher at Elgin’s Garfield Elementary School, recently achieved the certification.
Alexa Mogan and Rachel Montesano, students at Bartlett High School, and Riya Kumar, an Elgin High School student, were all named finalists in the 64th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.
Mary Fergus, director of school and community relations, said regarding the National Board Certification that it “requires teachers to pass a rigorous, performance-based assessment that only 33 percent of candidates pass on the first attempt.” She said there are “nearly 70” nationally certified teachers in U-46.
A press release from the district stated that it takes teachers one to three years to complete the certification process.
Denz, who is certified in the area of world languages other than English, said she had to renew her certification after 10 years.
“You basically have to talk about how you have mentored other teachers and continued to look for ways to have your students achieve the goals that you want them to meet,” Denz said.
Moreira is certified in the area of literacy in reading-language arts for early and middle childhood.
“It helps me a lot by reflecting and they dip into the education and to help the students achieve their goals,” Moreira said.
Maryellyn Friel, a teacher at Streamwood’s Heritage Elementary School and U-46’s national certification facilitator, called the certification a “powerful process” that “really gets you to slow down and examine your practice” for the release.
The National Merit Scholarship finalists are now competing for over $31 million offered through about 7,500 scholarships that will be awarded this spring. The district release stated that finalists were in the top 1 percent of over 1.6 million juniors who took the PSAT in 2017.
Mogan plans to double major in math and cognitive science, and Montesano plans to study computer science or math and minor in music. Kumar plans to go into pre-med and study neuroscience at Northwestern University.