Teacher Roster

Tony Martin

  • School: Kishwaukee Education Consortium
  • Teaches: English & Social Studies, Grades 6-12
  • Favorite Player: Mike Brown

Krista Carlile

  • School: Manteno Middle School
  • Teaches: Grade 5
  • Favorite Player: Walter Peyton

Jim Stankevitz

  • School: Wheaton Warrenville South High School
  • Teaches: Grades 10-12, Physics
  • Favorite Player: Jim McMahon

Pa’al Joshi

  • School: Glenbrook Off-Campus Center
  • Teaches: Grades 9-12, Special Education
  • Favorite Player: Walter Payton

Katie Bremner

  • School: Rufus M. Hitch Elementary School
  • Teaches: Grade 3
  • Favorite Player: Walter Payton

Trey Thompson

  • School: Academy for Global Citizenship
  • Teaches: Grade 5
  • Favorite Player: Walter Payton

Fitzgerald Crame

  • School: Edison Regional Gifted Center
  • Teaches: Grade 4
  • Favorite Player: Walter Payton

Daoruang Promlee-Benz

  • School: Richard J. Oglesby Elementary School
  • Teaches: Montessori, Grades 1 - 3
  • Favorite Player: Brian Urlacher

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Tony Martin

  • School: Kishwaukee Education Consortium
  • Teaches: English & Social Studies, Grades 6-12
  • Favorite Player: Mike Brown

“Tony Martin has been a teacher at Kishwaukee Education Consortium (KEC) since January 2015, but from his first day made himself an integral part of the culture of our school and success of our students. His goal? To make sure that in addition to his students learning significant dates or players in history, they learn that all groups and the individuals who make them up have distinct and valuable voices — just like each of his students,” said Rebecca Boltz, a KEC colleague. “Tony is the first person in the building and typically one of the last to leave. He is constantly honing his curriculum and delivery, volunteering to teach night school, helping in the kitchen with dishes, staying for additional meetings to allow other staff to leave early, developing new groups, new ideas, and pushing those around him to consistently bring their best,” said Boltz. “Tony understands the culture and values of his students and fellow staff members and inspires those around him by being unapologetically himself. From being an uninspired teenage student to transforming the face of alternative education, Tony has embodied every aspect of not just being a good teacher but truly being a phenomenal educator.”

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Krista Carlile

  • School: Manteno Middle School
  • Teaches: Grade 5
  • Favorite Player: Walter Peyton

“Krista Carlile is a dedicated teacher with a special place in her heart for her students. She gets to know each child on a personal level, discovering their strengths and learning of their struggles and challenges. She wants to help her students grow and will help them succeed in any way she can,” said Jennifer Monk, a teaching colleague. “Krista’s ‘cluster’ classroom means her class is designed around middle- to high-ability students. She is always exploring new technology lessons and STEM activities for them. Eager to develop lessons to challenge her students to get to the next level, she will collaborate with the grade above her to get her students working on topics for the next year.” Monk nominated Carlile for the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom® award. “In addition to her academic responsibilities, Krista has created many programs throughout the school community to make it better. She plays a fundamental role in the softball program at Manteno, volunteering many hours to make it the success that it is. She also developed a teacher-appreciation program, in which varsity softball athletes nominate teachers via letter and walk out on the field with them during home games for a moment of recognition. It’s a very special night for both the players and the teachers. Krista leads this program, and it is wonderful!” said Monk.

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Jim Stankevitz

  • School: Wheaton Warrenville South High School
  • Teaches: Grades 10-12, Physics
  • Favorite Player: Jim McMahon

“Jim Stankevitz has been teaching physics for over 40 years. He has received multiple teaching awards, including the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching, given to him by President Clinton. Despite his many well-deserved accolades, Jim remains the most humble teacher at Wheaton Warrenville South High School — although everyone knows he is the smartest person at our school AND the best teacher in the building,” said Phil Culcasi, a Science Department teaching colleague. Culcasi nominated Stankevitz for the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom® award. “As the AP Physics C (calculus-based) teacher at our school, Jim has built the program over the years from fewer than 15 students to over 60 students annually. More significantly, he has doubled—and doubled again—the number of female students taking upper level physics courses. He sends students out into the world as leaders in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math disciplines (STEM). His former students work at NASA, are well-accomplished physicians, or doing cutting edge research with renewable energy. Some have even appeared on Jeopardy! But to many of his 4,000-plus students, he is simply a kind, brilliant man who is the best teacher they have ever had.” “Jim Stankevitz is truly a teacher of students and a teacher of teachers. He was my physics teacher when I attended Marist High School in the late 80's. He taught at Marist for 19 years before moving to Wheaton Warrenville South in the 90's. Without question the best physics teacher in the state, he was a hero of mine when I was a student and is even more of a hero now that I have the privilege to teach alongside of him,” said Culcasi.

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Pa’al Joshi

  • School: Glenbrook Off-Campus Center
  • Teaches: Grades 9-12, Special Education
  • Favorite Player: Walter Payton

“Pa'al Joshi is the definition of dedication in education. His passion is helping kids succeed—period. He never tires and he never gives up, no matter how challenging the situation,” said Susan Frankel, a teaching colleague. “Pa'al provides his students with the structure they crave, even when they sometimes resist it. Invariably, students come to appreciate that he pushed them and believed in them when they didn’t have confidence in themselves. For many students, he is and has been a positive male role model, one who never gave up on them.” Frankel nominated Joshi for the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom® award. “Pa’al is a coach outside of the classroom as well as in it. He started a Special Olympics program in our district, acting as coach, team driver and fundraiser,” said Frankel. “He also coaches football in our district. He motivates students who are struggling to get involved in sports precisely because he understands the connection between mind and body.” Adds Frankel, “As a coworker, you simply know that Pa'al would give the shirt off his back for these kids. He is extremely generous with his time, but has also been known to be equally generous with his money to help a student or colleague in need. I truly believe Pa'al lives and breathes Glenbrook Off-Campus Center, and he brings that dedication to life every day with his students.”

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Katie Bremner

  • School: Rufus M. Hitch Elementary School
  • Teaches: Grade 3
  • Favorite Player: Walter Payton

“Katie Bremner is an exceptional teacher who continually modifies her teaching style to meet the specific needs of each child. She helps her students understand that success and failure come in many forms and that it's okay to be proud of their differences, interests and unique skills. Through open discussion, clear feedback and communicating with emotion, she shows students that challenges are simply stepping stones to their future success,” said Nicholas Ravelingeen, the parent of a Hitch student. “If Ms. Bremner could be a teacher at every school, we would have more children in the world willing to tackle challenges head on, with conviction and the drive to be that much better. Her practices need to be recognized and emulated!”

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Trey Thompson

  • School: Academy for Global Citizenship
  • Teaches: Grade 5
  • Favorite Player: Walter Payton

“Trey Thompson, widely known as ‘Mr. T,’ is the epitome of what a teacher should be. I share this conviction as both a teacher myself and as the parent of two sons who have had the good fortune to find themselves in Mr. Thompson’s classroom. He is a role model for everyone at Academy for Global Citizenship, especially the boys,” said Minerva Valencia, who nominated Thompson for the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom® award. “Mr. Thompson creates a classroom environment that goes beyond academics. He teaches students that if there's something wrong in the world, they have a voice and obligation to say and do something about it. He encourages his students to go above and beyond,” said Valencia. “Mr. Thompson is an overall great human being, truly influential and passionate about education. Parents like myself are honored to have him as our kids' teacher because there is so much he offers beyond teaching—he truly cares about our children.”

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Fitzgerald Crame

  • School: Edison Regional Gifted Center
  • Teaches: Grade 4
  • Favorite Player: Walter Payton

“Fitz Crame is one of the most incredible teachers I've ever known. His students certainly excel academically; nearly all (of last year’s class) had met their end-of-year academic goals by December. But what's most striking is the emotional connections he makes with his students—and helps them make with each other. Children grow kinder, more creative and more courageous in his care,” said Karen Valentine, principal at Edison Regional Gifted Center. “Mr. Crame is such an incredible part of his students' lives. He's more than their teacher; he's family.” Valentine nominated Crame for the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom® award.

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Daoruang Promlee-Benz

  • School: Richard J. Oglesby Elementary School
  • Teaches: Montessori, Grades 1 - 3
  • Favorite Player: Brian Urlacher

“Mrs. Benz is one of the most patient and caring teachers I have ever had the pleasure to work with. Often at school from first thing in the morning until well into the evening, she works hard to build a warm, welcoming environment in her classroom,” said Kimberly Henderson, principal at Richard J. Oglesby. “Mrs. Benz recently started a class ‘bank’ for her students, which helps students learn concepts like the value of saving and importance of hard work. In return for class ‘jobs’ performed each month, she pays them out of her own pocket. Students visit the class bank monthly to withdraw their money and then go to the class store Mrs. Benz has set up and stocked with items she’s purchased from the dollar store.” Henderson nominated Promlee-Benz for the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom® award.