The Illinois Education Association recently named Brownstown high school teacher Michelle Seabaugh and Vandalia Title 1 reading teacher Susan Culbertson Outstanding Teachers.
The recognition took place on May 9 at the IEA Region 5 Awards Banquet at the Lewis and Clark Community College N.O. Nelson Center. State Rep. John Cavaletto (R-Salem) was the keynote speaker at the formal dinner, which preceded the awards ceremony.
Nominations for the Outstanding Teacher Award are based on an individual’s extraordinary commitment to their school district, community and local association.
Brownstown teacher Sandra Stine, who nominated Seabaugh, said that upon completion of her master’s degree, Seabaugh worked with Lake Land College to initiate dual credit courses for Brownstown High School.
She is the liaison for students enrolled in the work-based learning program and she initiated the keyboard class for fifth- and sixth-grade students to prepare them for junior high.
Seabaugh is the National Honor Society sponsor and an officer in the School Community Club, and has coached Junior High Volleyball.
She works with each school organization to develop local fundraising activities and has also developed fundraising activities for the volunteer fire department, for medical expenses for aa student treated for brain cancer, annual blood drives and a handicapped-accessible playground. She is a member of the Business Teachers Association and has been a member of the Brownstown Education Association negotiations committee.
Vandalia teachers Debbie Hall and Sha Tedrick nominated Culbertson for the award.
They said that Culbertson has an engaging personality and teaching style. “She is knowledgeable and genuinely cares about her students. She has high expectations of her students and encourages them to work to the best of their ability.
“She adapts instructions to meet the needs of her students and is concerned about their social and emotional well-being as well as their academic progress. In the classroom, she has effective discipline skills that promote positive behaviors.
“She maintains open communication with parents and makes herself readily available for phone calls, meetings and emails.
Culbertson is the sponsor of the spring Reading Night, has served on the district technology committee and Response to Intervention team.
She and her husband developed the Vandalia Kids Wrestling Program. Mrs. Culbertson volunteers at her church as pianist and nursery worker, and helps plan and coordinate children’s events at the church. She has served as a Vandalia Unit Teachers Association building representative, member of the VUTA Executive Committee and on the teachers’ local negotiating team.