TEAI Award Recipients

Congratulations to 2016 Technology Education Association of Illinois (TEAI) Award Recipients!

Several Illinois PLTW teachers and school programs were recognized at the October 28, 2016 Statewide ITEC Conference:

  • TEAI/ITEEA High School Teacher of the Year—Gary Cotie, Bartlett HS (PLTW DE Master Teacher)

    Gary was co-initiator of Bartlett High School’s Project Lead The Way implementation that would become one of the state’s largest PLTW STEM curriculum implementations. His commitment to helping students succeed is evident and students value the way he treats them professionally and encourages them to meet high standards, and career preparation. He is a Digital Electronics Master Teacher and has contributed significantly to the national PLTW curriculum.  He has made special efforts to work closely with math and science faculty in his building as well as with other U-46 teachers—staff development workshop presentations, open houses and student competitions, and more.  In addition to in-school and in-district commitment to helping students and colleagues, Gary has been involved with VEX robotics team advising, and other community outreach programs.  He is highly respected by his students and their families, his colleagues, his local community partners, and fellow teachers.

  • TEAI/ITEEA High School Program of the Year—Normal Community HS (Don Whitman, Department Chair, PLTW IED Master Teacher)

    Normal’s three-teacher department includes Don Whitman (National Board Certified, and a PLTW Master Teacher), Paige Christie (Master’s Degree in STEM), Anthony Glorioso (Tech Ed. BS Degree). NCHS is a PLTW school and also offers a full machine shop and woodworking shop, with 5 yearlong, hands-on classes from welding to advanced cabinetmaking with dual credit agreements with the local community college; "Geometry in Construction" helps the community by building homes for Habitat for Humanity. Students having been involved in creating projects that help people with disabilities improve their daily lives, and have collaborated with Girl Scouts of Central Illinois by providing class project products for auction. Other local and statewide student project, presentation, and competition activities include the TSA Teams Test, Raspberry Pi build it competition, IDEA drafting competition, ICC Power Show, PLTW State conference, LIFE Center for People with Disabilities, and the Max’s Miles Foundation.

  • TEAI Technology Education New Teacher of the Year--Erica Tuke, Highland HS (PLTW teacher)

    Erica graduated from University of Iowa in 2012 and completed her Master’s at Ball State.  Since Project Lead the Way’s introduction to HPHS in 2012, Erica has helped increase student enrollment by 120%. This year, Erica’s students will work with Northrop Grumman to work on an authentic design problem with the help of industry professionals. Erica has made it her personal goal to narrow the gender gap and encourage minority student involvement in engineering classes. As the co-sponsor of STEM-W, a group dedicated to providing STEM opportunities for young women, Erica has introduced students to Industrial Designers at IDEO and has given them opportunities to do DNA extraction experiments with PhD Students at Northwestern University. If that were not enough, Erica helped develop a Saturday morning coding program to engage the community’s underrepresented minority students.

  • TEAI Considine "Big Thinker" Award—Steve Skorup, Waubonsie HS (PLTW teacher)

    Steve is a graduate of Illinois State University (BS Industrial Education), and Northern Illinois University (Educational Administration). A long-time teacher in the Indian Prairie School District 204, he has been recognized by his peers as Skills USA Advisor of the Year, Illinois Drafting Educators Association Teacher of the Year, and ITEEA Teacher of the Year. He traveled to Japan as a Fulbright Scholar to study technical education programs, has coached successful high school wrestling teams,  has served on his home community’s school board, and is frequently cited by former students as their “most influential teacher”.