On the occasion of CFE’s twenty‐fifth anniversary, the Board of Directors established the Debby Jannotta and Shirley Jaffee CFE Teacher of the Year award in honor of two outstanding volunteers who have been instrumental throughout our organization’s development and growth. This award is presented annually to a Chicago Public School teacher who, among other criteria: enhances the classroom experience and provides effective instruction to students; seeks opportunities to engage in professional development and share effective practices with colleagues; and has earned at least five CFE grants and is currently an active member of the CFE community.
Each award winner receives the opportunity to represent CFE teachers as an honorary advisor to the CFE Board of Directors and a $1,000 stipend for classroom materials and/or professional development.
2015: Elizabeth Valente, Otis Elementary School
- CFE Awards: 9 Small Grants, 4 Study Group Coach Grants, and 1 Action Research Leadership Institute Fellowship
- CFE Teacher-Leader: Member of 26th Annual Teachers as Leaders and Learners Workshop Committee, 4-time Workshop Presenter (including the 2014 CFE Workshop), and CFE Teacher Liaison
2014: Bob Hauser, Legacy Charter School
- CFE Awards: 1 Small Grant, 1 Study Group Coach and 3 Team Member Grants, and 2 Action Research Leadership Institute Fellowships
- CFE Teacher-Leader: Member of 25th Annual Teachers as Leaders and Learners Workshop Committee, 2013 Workshop Presenter, and CFE Teacher Liaison
- CFE Awards: 3 Small Grants, 1 Fund for Teachers Fellowship, and 2 Study Group Coach Grants
CFE Teacher-Leader: Member of 24th Annual Teachers as Leaders and Learners Workshop Teacher Committee, 2-time presenter at Workshop, and a teacher-leader at 2012 Workshop Presenter Orientation
- CFE Awards: 3 Small Grants, 3 Study Group Coach and 2 Team Members, and an Action Research Leadership Institute Fellowship
CFE Teacher-Leader: Chair of 23rd Annual Teachers as Leaders and Learners Workshop, 5-time presenter at Workshop, facilitator of numerous grant-writing sessions, and CFE Teacher Liaison
- CFE Awards: 2 Small Grants, 2 Study Group Coach and 1 Team Members, 1 Fund for Teachers Fellowship and an Action Research Leadership Institute Fellowship
- CFE Teacher-Leader: Co-Chair of 23rd Annual Teachers as Leaders and Learners Workshop, 4-time presenter at Workshop, and CFE Teacher Liaison
A Message from Monica
I never will forget my first $500 grant from CFE. As I posted my “I’m a CFE Small Grant Winner” banner on my bulletin board, I felt like I had won $5 million. I have won seven CFE grants in total, including both an Action Research Fellowship and Fund for Teachers Fellowship, and my students continue to reap the rewards.
It was my Study Group Coach experience that began to shape me as a teacher-leader. CFE provided a platform for me to share my curricula with CPS teachers from across the district. In terms of taking on other leadership roles in education, the sky became the limit.
These CFE experiences led me to become a national Education Champion, a Teach Plus fellow, and one of just two teachers on Mayor Emmanuel’s Education Transition Team. As I continue to teach, I will always be grateful to CFE for recognizing me as a true professional and sparking my desire to become a teacher-leader.
Monica Sims, Pershing West Middle School
CFE Board Member / 2011 CFE Teacher of the Year