News Story

NSU Graduate Named
2005 OK Teacher of the Year

“Hope is what has made a difference in my classroom… I believe the same practices I use in my classroom will yield success in other classrooms. Happy learning experiences, Opportunities for every child to experience success, Positive community role models, and high Expectations that stretch student learning, form the basis through which we can increase student performance and ultimately change the society we live in for the better.”
Susan Illgen,
2005 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year

It’s been a short four years since Susan Illgen received her bachelor of science degree in early childhood education from Northeastern and she’s already coveted top honors in the state. Illgen, a kindergarten teacher at the Grove Lower Elementary School, was recently named the 2005 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year.

During the induction ceremony, State Superintendent Sandy Garrett praised Illgen for her belief that ‘students should be the center of the curriculum.’

Illgen is credited with developing a project she calls “HOPE,” which stands for Happy learning experiences; Opportunities for every child to experience success; Positive community role models; and high Expectations that stretch student learning.

Other finalists for the award were Judith Bruce, Mustang; Karen Evans (Yukon); Roy Jackson (Pryor); Diane Keene (Lawton); Jan Kelley (Durant); Glenda Lillard (Byng); Jan McClaren (Claremore); Leah McDonald (Edmond); Melisa Rice (Macomb); Bettye Smith (Watonga); and Charlotte Wheeler (Mountain View-Gotebo).

Illgen will receive more than $8,000 in cash and stipends, use of a new car for a year, one year’s worth of gasoline, a framed certificate, a trophy and other gifts.

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