Chamber to honor Great Teachers
March 4, 2011 1:08PM
Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM
The Joliet Region Chamber of Commerce will recognize 15 top educators at its Great Teachers banquet Thursday at the Jacob Henry Ballroom in Joliet. The 15 honorees come from a variety of backgrounds and work with preschoolers through high school students.The following teachers will be honored:
Chvoy has spent her entire 14-year teaching career with Joliet West High School.
This year she is teaching geometry, honors geometry and trigonometry.
She received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Western Illinois University and master’s degree in educational leadership from Aurora University.
Chvoy lives in Romeoville with her husband of 10 years, David, and their two children.
Cullen, of Joliet, has worked in the Laraway School District nearly six years as a Little Learners teacher. As such she works in a blended at-risk and special needs classroom for children ages 3-5. Prior to her job at Laraway, Cullen worked at Noonan’s Childcare Centers and as a substitute teacher.
Cullen earned a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from Illinois State University. She also attended Pensacola Christian College, majoring in music education with a concentration in voice. She is a graduate of Lockport Township High School.
DeLucio, of Joliet, teaches Spanish teacher at Joliet Central. She has taught all four levels of Spanish, from freshman to senior level.
Before becoming a Spanish teacher, DeLucio taught English as a second language for 25 years in the Joliet Township High School District and for Joliet Junior College’s adult education. She worked as an instructor for both schools and as an educational coordinator for JJC.
DeLucio also developed and taught Spanish for Joliet Township High School staff. The classes were held after school for three years.
She earned a bachelor’s degree from Illinois State University and a master’s degree in educational leadership from Governors State University.
DeLucio has three children.
Figliulo, of Shorewood, works as a business education teacher for the Joliet Township High School District. He is an adjunct instructor Joliet Junior College.
His teaching career includes working for Chicago Public Schools.
Figliulo holds master’s degrees in educational administration and business administration from Governors State University and a bachelor’s degree in education from Southern Illinois University. He also holds numerous education certifications and endorsements in business and computer science.
He is married with three children and four grandchildren.
Georgantas, of Shorewood, has been a special education teacher at Joliet West for the past 12 years. She formerly owned and operated Crest Hill Florist for 15 years.
Georgantas is the coordinator for high school seniors and positive intervention room teacher.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of St. Francis and a master’s degree in special education from Lewis University. She also earned administrative and cooperative vocational education certificates.
Georgantas has two children.
Ionta, who lives in Naperville, works an early childhood teacher at Troy Crossroads Elementary in the Blooming Early education program. She formerly worked in the Plainfield School District at the Bonnie McBeth Learning Center.
In her current position, Ionta works with children 3 to 5 years old.
“One of the main reasons I went into teaching at the early childhood level is so that I can help my students establish a love for learning right from the start at their very first school experience: preschool,” Ionta said.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in early childhood studies with special education from Northern Illinois University and is pursuing an English as a second language endorsement through National Lewis University.
Richard Kelch Jr.
Kelch, of Joliet, is an eighth-grade general education inclusion teacher at Gompers Junior High School in Joliet. He also has worked as a special education resource teacher, language arts teacher, general education teacher and inclusion teacher. Kelch also served as the eighth-grade team leader and coordinator of the 21st Century After School Kids Club.
He holds an associate’s degree from Illinois Central College, bachelor’s degree in English with teacher certification from Eastern Illinois University and a master’s in educational administration from Governors State University.
He and his wife Elizabeth have two children.
Konzelman, of Joliet, has taught at the Cathedral of St. Raymond School in Joliet for 26 years.
In addition to working as the school librarian, Konzelman taught third through fifth grades and technology. Her present role is the pre-kindergarten teacher.
She is a graduate of Bradley University with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education.
Konzelman is married to Joliet attorney Bruce Konzelman and they have four children and four grandchildren.
Kordonowy, of Shorewood, teaches preschool at Troy Crossroads Elementary School in Shorewood.
She also has taught first grade in Missouri and Peoria.
Kordonowy holds a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education and a master’s degree in education curriculum and instruction from the University of Missouri.
She is married to Scott Kordonowy.
Lanoue, of Channahon, has taught in the Troy School District for 10 years. Prior to that, she taught one year at Valley View School. Currently she is a first-grade teacher.
She holds a master’s degree in education from University of St. Francis and a bachelor’s in English from Augustana College.
She is married to Matthew and they have three children.
Markatos, of Palos Hills, has worked at Joliet Central High School for seven years, teaching world affairs, U.S. history and economics. She also taught earth science.
She attended Lewis University where she earned a master’s in education and a bachelor’s degree in history, with minors in English and natural science.
Newell, of Joliet, is an algebra teacher at Joliet Central High School.
Before teaching, she worked as an executive producer for Sunrise Films in Albuquerque, N.M., and was co-owner and executive producer of Darcy/Fox Productions in Santa Monica, Calif.
Newell holds a bachelor’s degree in communication arts from the College of Santa Fe and a master’s in education with concentration in cross-cultural teaching from National University, La Jolla, Calif.
She is working on a second master’s in education from Northern Illinois University, with a focus on instructional technology to include a technology specialist certification.
Veverka, of Joliet, teaches fourth grade at Troy Craughwell School in Joliet. She previously worked for six years in the Summit Hill School District in Frankfort.
Veverka attended Joliet Junior College and Eastern Illinois University. She is married to Jim and has two daughters.
Walls, of Joliet, is in her 10th year of teaching at Rockdale School. This year, she is teaching third grade. During her tenure, Walls has taught second grade, fourth grade, eighth grade social studies and computers.
She has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of St. Francis and is pursing a master’s degree as a library information specialist from Olivet Nazarene University.
Walls has a daughter.
Yaklich, of Joliet, is in his 12th year of teaching. His current job is social studies content specialist at Joliet West High School.
Yaklich earned an associate’s degree from Illinois Valley Community College, a bachelor’s from Illinois State University and master’s degrees in education and education leadership from Olivet Nazarene University.
He is married to Amy and they have three children.