Indian Prairie School District 204 teacher among finalists for 2024 Illinois Teacher of the Year

Photo of Dr. Rachael Mahmood, a finalist for Illinois teacher of the year
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An Indian Prairie School District 204 teacher is among the 15 finalists in the running to be the 2024 Illinois Teacher of the Year.

Dr. Rachael Mahmood, a fifth-grade teacher at Georgetown Elementary School, has made the shortlist for the honor, which is given by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE).

Named as Far West Suburbs Regional Teacher of the Year

Earlier this month she was notified that she was part of the ISBE Teacher of the Year Cohort, named as the Far West Suburbs Regional Teacher of the Year.

The 15 teachers throughout the state chosen for the cohort are the final contenders for the teacher of the year accolade. They are all noted as having “greatly improved their school communities and the teaching profession,” as explained by ISBE, setting themselves apart by being trend-setters who inspire others in their profession.

Making her mark both in the district and statewide

Dr. Mahmood has made her mark both within the district and throughout the state, helping to author curriculums and serving as the Educational Task Force Chair for the Muslim Civic Coalition.

According to her bio on the ISBE website, she “has a passion for designing curriculum that affirms students’ identities and engaging instructional methods that nurture their love for school.”

She’s no stranger to being honored, having received the Rising Star Alumni Award from Benedictine University, and the Michael Feldman Educational Leadership Award from Elmhurst University. Besides her work in the classroom, she’s also writing a book about culturally responsive instruction, and writes for educational blogs which share strategies for culturally responsive teaching.

Teacher of the Year to be named in April

The 2024 Illinois Teacher of the Year will be named in April, and then honored at a banquet along with the other awardees on May 18.

The full list of teachers in the running can be found on the ISBE website.

Photo courtesy: ISBE

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