Welcome to the ILSTOY website.  ILSTOY is a a professional organization of Illinois Teachers of the Year and Finalists named through the Illinois State Board of Education Those Who Excel Program.

Mission:  The Illinois State Teachers of the Year and Finalists, having been recognized as representing the best practices and dispositions in teaching, will use their collective voice to impact students’ learning and the teaching profession. Toward these ends, ILSTOY will actively take a leading role to involve teachers in making decisions about educational policy, advocacy, and practice in classrooms, schools, districts, communities, and in state, national and global arenas.

Please review our website for information about teacher leadership among our members and throughout Illinois.

2019 Illinois Teacher of the Year

Susan Converse


Susan Converse (’19) was named Teacher of the Year at the 44th annual Those Who Excel banquet in Bloomington, IL. Converse, who teaches special education at Edwardsville High School, was honored for her work with the Tiger Den, a cafe operated by students with disabilities. Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D., remarked on Converse’s impact on her students: “The teachers that stay with us for our entire lives are more


IL Team works with 5 States on State Toolkit for Teacher Leadership
Deputy Superintendent at ISBE Karen Corken, Lynn Gaddis '95, Superintendent of Palos Heights SD Dawn Green, Pam Reilly '14, and Principal in... read more
Pam Reilly Leads Team in Teach to Lead
Pam Reilly '14 lead a team of teachers, a principal, and Superintendent Dawn Green at the April New Orleans Teach to Lead Summit.  The team... read more
NNSTOY launched report on Career Advancement in March in Washington, D. C.
Lynn Gaddis co-authored with Katie Natale, Katherine Bassett, and Kathy McKnight through NNSTOY and Pearson a two-year report, "Teacher Career... read more
ILSTOY Presents at Teaching and Learning Conference
Lynn Gaddis and Pam Reilly presented on a CCSSO Panel at the Teaching and Learning Conference  in Washington D.C. March 10 about the work for... read more
Joe Fatheree Named Top 10 Teacher in the World
Joe Fatheree, ILSTOY 07 , was recently recognized as one of the Top 10 Teachers in the World at a reception in Dubai by the Varkey... read more

2019 Illinois State Teacher of the Year Finalists:

  • Lindsay Adams
  • Roger Baldwin
  • Richard “Rick” Coppola
  • LoriAnne Frieri, Ed.D.
  • Stephanie Lerch
  • Benjamin Luginbuhl
  • Sara Magnafichi
  • William “Bill” Polasky
  • Katherine Daphne Whitington, Ph.D.