Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

To ignite and nurture creative, ethical, scientific minds that advance the human condition.

IMSA Presents First Annual Community Recognition Awards

IMSA recently honored staff members for outstanding community contributions during its recent Community Day celebration.

IMSA’s recognition awards provide an annual occasion to recognize and honor IMSA staff  who ‘have distinguished themselves and the Academy during the year (March 31, 2009 – April 1, 2010) through their significant and transformative contributions to the IMSA community and beyond.’

IMSA honors its employees through five different community award categories which include:

Presidential Leadership Award- awarded when an IMSA community member, through her/his exemplary leadership, enriches and advances the mission and beliefs of the Academy, motivates others by building a shared sense of purpose, implements innovative  strategies and practices and achieves results that exceed expectations.  This year's award winner is IMSA Coordinator of Student Inquiry and Research Dr. Judith Scheppler.

Presidential Leadership Award winner Dr. Judy Scheppler

E=MC² Award winner Rosemary Forni

Principal's Teaching Award winner Jose Palos
Community Steward of the Planet Award winner Jean Bigger

Under her leadership, Student Inquiry and Research (SIR) has grown and continues to be one of IMSA's most nationally recognized programs.  SIR was named as one of only 18 science education models in the nation to be included in the National Science Teachers Association book, Inquiry:  The Key to Exemplary Science, published in 2009.  She served as a lead co-author of the chapter "Student Inquiry and Research:  Developing Students' Authentic Skills" which features IMSA's inquiry-based program.  

E=MC² Award- awarded to an IMSA community member whose engagement, energy and high ethical standards have led to exemplary results, who significantly contributes to a more meaningful, motivated and collaborative community and whose actions and behaviors model IMSA’s beliefs.  This year's award winner is IMSA Receptionist Rosemary Forni.

Forni exemplifies outstanding service not only to her position, but to the Academy as a whole.  She consistently goes above and beyond through interactions with students, staff and other campus guests, sharing insight, knowledge and energy with others in the community.  Forni is an asset to IMSA's community.

Lederman Scholar Award- awarded to an IMSA community member who has produced an in-field publication or acceptance for publication, since April 1, 2009, of a book, or refereed article, submission of tapes, slides or photographs from a  juried artistic performance or exhibit, or presentation at conference (with documented proceedings).   See attached for this year's award winners.

Principal’s Teaching Award- awarded to a faculty member who exudes a strong commitment to students and their learning inside and outside of the classroom, models lifelong learning through demonstrated continuing professional growth and is a contributing, collaborative member of the IMSA  learning community.  This year's award winner is IMSA Spanish faculty member Jose Palos.

Palos is committed to the well-being of his students both inside and outside of the classroom, always wanting to learn how he could help improve the quality of their IMSA experience.  One student commented "I have learned much from him, not only as a teacher or member of the IMSA community, but as a human being."  Palos exudes a love of the Spanish language and culture and also teaching, soliciting feedback on student projects in an effort to always improve and refine his class. 

Community Steward of the Planet Award- awarded to an IMSA community member who demonstrates her/his commitment to the preservation of the planet and its resources through proactive, innovative and productive responses to environmental threats.  This year's award winner is IMSA Technical Service Assistant Jean Bigger.

Bigger demonstrates daily her commitment to the preservation of the planet through her innovative initiatives and environmental activism.  Jean serves as the coordinator of "The Green Team" at IMSA, working closely with Club Verno.  She has reorganized the Green Team and facilitated inclusive community meetings to promote environmental awareness.  In addition, she has led fundraising efforts, developed a web site for the Go Green movement and implemented a program recognizing community members who serve as role models through their personal actions related to environmental preservation and sustainability.

The award recipients were selected by an anonymous and cross-representative committee that reviewed submitted nominations for each category that were made by staff members, students and parents.