Jennifer Markello makes a real difference for students in the alternative school program where she is the lead instructor in ROE26. And for the second year in a row, the office is receiving a statewide honor for excellence in education.
Markello was honored Thursday, March 1, for her exemplary service for at-risk youth at the annual statewide conference in Bloomington for the Illinois Coalition for Educating At-Risk Youth (ICEARY). Markello was one of four ICEARY regional winners receiving the 2018 ICEARY Excellence in Education Award. Kim Featherlin won the award last year, for her work with the Macomb ROYALS program for ROE26.
Markello is a Lead Teacher for the Canton ROYALS alternative school program in ROE26. She has served in alternative education for the last 12 years, including the last five years as Lead Teacher. In nominating Markello for the honor this year, ROYALS Administrator Lori Bilbrey said Markello is extremely smart and "has the perfect disposition, skill set and attitude to serve our students and families.
"She lives each day, modeling for all of our staff, families and students. She is the one that each student knows 'is in their corner.' She truly represents the pillars of ICEARY," Bilbrey wrote.
Markello said she was honored to receive the statewide recognition, and she wants any spotlight to fall on the tremendous growth students show when they have the support they need.
"I want our schools and communities to see and feel what amazing things these kids will give back to them when they feel heard and loved and are given the opportunity for success and the opportunity to get a high school education," Markello said.
ROE26 Regional Superintendent John Meixner said the consecutive honors for Featherlin and Markello are an important acknowledgment of the tireless efforts his employees make every day to improve education in west-central Illinois.
These ladies greatly deserve these honors, and both represent the selfless, student-first approach we take pride in at ROE26. The children within our region are better off because of Jennifer, Kim and our entire staff," Meixner said.
ABOUT ROE26 Led by Regional Superintendent John Meixner, Regional Office of Education #26 represents and serves schools in Fulton, Hancock, McDonough and Schuyler counties in west-central Illinois. More here: http://www.roe26.net/