MOUNT VERNON — Summersville Grade School Special Education Teacher Monica Maxey was honored at the school on Monday for her best-in-class teaching and use of educational programs.
The event served as a celebration of Maxey’s achievement. Sentinel archives state that Curriculum Associates recently named Maxey to its 2023 Class of Extraordinary Educators, an annual program that celebrates and connects exemplary teachers in Grades K-8 from around the country. Chosen from hundreds of nominations, Maxey is among 30 educators from 22 states selected for exhibiting best-in-class use of i-Ready, i-Ready Classroom Mathematics, and/or Ready; illustrating growth and achievement via formal assessments; demonstrating innovation and engagement practices for students; being evangelists for high expectations and student achievement; championing equity; and having taught for at least two years.
“We are thrilled to be here this afternoon to honor Monica Maxey as i-Ready Class of 2023 Extraordinary Educator,” said Summersville Superintendent Neil Hargis. “She was chosen from hundreds of applicants to be one of the 31 teachers representing (22) different states.”
Eileen Townsend, educational sales consultant with Curriculum Associates, explained what made Maxey’s nomination stand out.
“Three things that really set her application apart was the acceptance, positivity and the calm that is in the classroom every single day,” Townsend said.
116th District State Representative Dave Severin (R-Benton) was also in attendance as he dubbed Maxey’s accomplishment a “big deal.”
“I want you to realize that she is special today (Monday), but all of you also are, and to be recognized in this school and the education she provides with her fellow teachers, administrators, everybody who works here, you guys are privileged beyond measure that you don’t even realize,” Severin said. “Being in a small school, sometimes you may think ‘I am in podunk Summersville,’ but I want to tell you that coming from a small school is a good thing, a big deal.”
Severin highlighted House Resolution 0161, which was adopted on March 24. The resolution “recognizes and congratulates Summersville Grade School Special Education Teacher Monica Maxey for being named to the 2023 Curriculum Associates Class of Extraordinary Educators.” He also highlighted Illinois Senate Resolution 0075 on behalf of State Senator Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro), who could not be in attendance, which also congratulated Maxey on her accomplishment.
“I want you to remember this day for two things, one thing she is awesome and she teaches in an awesome school,” Severin said.
Severin ended his portion of the presentation by leading the students in the Summersville Wildcats cheer.
Maxey spoke next as she noted the accomplishment of the Summersville School District receiving exemplary status, which is the top 10% of educational excellence in Illinois.
“Not only am I a part of that, but all of our educators and all of our students worked so hard,” Maxey said. “I am just one piece of that great big celebration.”
Maxey is the only teacher from Illinois to receive this honor. She said she has been a special educator at Summersville Grade School for 24 years. She also recognized Franklin Jefferson Special Education Supervisor Ali Nordin, who was the person who initially nominated Maxey for the recognition.
“We worked together as special educators and she went on to be a supervisor of the Franklin Jefferson Special Ed District and she has empowered so many teachers for going to the different schools and supporting the students,” Maxey said. “When she nominated (me), I was just so honored to get that, because we worked so close together.”
Nordin explained why she nominated Maxey for the honor.
“I nominated Mrs. Maxey, because she stands out in front of all the other special education teachers, general ed teachers, because she collaborates with the whole group, paraprofessional, special ed, general ed,” Nordin said. “She analyzes data, she utilizes the data to make sure all students are successful, she sets goals for each and every student. Very excited that she was able to be celebrated today (Monday) and get that recognition.”
Founded in 1969, Curriculum Associates, LLC designs research-based print and online instructional materials, screens and assessments, and data management tools. The company’s products and customer service provide teachers and administrators with the resources necessary for teaching diverse student populations and fostering learning for all students, Sentinel archives state.