Lester Crown Distinguished Teachers

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“We are honored to support MSI in recognizing teachers from high-needs schools who have made a commitment to improving their instructional practices in core science subjects by completing at least four MSI courses.”

— Jim Crown, MSI Trustee and President, Henry Crown & Co.

The Lester Crown MSI Distinguished Teacher award is given to educators who completed at least four of MSI’s science teacher education courses, where educators gain valuable knowledge of Next-Generation-Science-Standards-aligned curriculum, improve teaching skills and return to the classroom with new ideas and resources to make science more engaging. Teacher honorees receive a certificate and a personal $1,000 award.

MSI’s vision is to inspire and motivate children to achieve their full potential in science, technology, medicine and engineering. By continuing to support teachers in educating the next generation of science explorers, MSI recognizes the important role teachers play in conveying the multiple ways a strong foundation in science can be the building block for existing careers and those that haven’t been invented yet. These teachers also demonstrate the leadership essential for the success of students and schools in the science subjects. Their hard work and achievement will inspire other educators as well as the students we all serve.

The Lester Crown MSI Distinguished Teacher award is given at a recognition event at the Museum with MSI President and CEO David Mosena and MSI Trustee Jim Crown. The award is named for Lester Crown, an MSI life trustee and philanthropist. Since 2016, MSI has continuously recognized teachers from high-needs schools who have made a commitment to improving their instructional practices in core science subjects with support from the Crown Family Philanthropies.

“Teachers play a critical role in inspiring their students and helping them see their future. We know that education can change lives, and that a rich education can open up a world of opportunities for our children.”

— David Mosena, MSI President and CEO

  • 2022 Honorees

    Jami Brown Tucker, Roosevelt Elementary School, Broadview, Ill.
    Donna Calder, Boscobel Schools, Boscobel, Wisc.
    Sean Murphy, Fiske Elementary, Chicago
    John Citek, Oriole Park School, Chicago
    Shelley Eckerman, Hanson Park Elementary School, Chicago
    Nicole Hauser, Robert Healy Elementary School, Chicago
    Kathryn Schoedel, Carlos Fuentes Elementary, Chicago
    Lindsay Toomey, Hamlin Upper Grade Center, Alsip, Ill.

  • 2021 Honorees

    • Allison Acevedo, John Middleton Elementary, Skokie, Ill.
    • Matrina Eno, Cottage Grove Upper Grade Center, Ford Heights, Ill.
    • Holly Heneghan, South Loop School, Chicago
    • Robert Argent, William P. Gray Elementary School, Chicago
  • 2020 Honorees

    • Jackie Gaiser, Moos Elementary School, Chicago
    • Michele Oubre, Avondale-Logandale Elementary School, Chicago
    • Heather Ougormad, Roberto Clemente - Acero School, Chicago
    • Michelle Pena, Liberty Junior High School, Chicago
    • Veronica Romo, Notre Dame School of Milwaukee, Milwaukee
    • Rachael Skinner, Robert Healy Elementary School, Chicago
    • Allison Tracey, John W. Garvy School, Chicago
    • Tom Mackie, O. A. Thorp Scholastic Academy, Chicago
    • Eileen Podrazik, Hanson Park Elementary School, Chicago
  • 2019 Honorees

    • Ashley Albritton, CICS Bucktown, Chicago
    • Michelle Arroyo, Sawyer Elementary, Chicago
    • Jennifer Beebe, George Washington Elementary, Chicago
    • Kathryn Bolster, Crete-Monee Middle School, University Park, Ill.
    • Niamh Burke, Sawyer Elementary, Chicago
    • Vida Cantieri, Nobel School, Chicago
    • Korinee Carr, Tilton Elementary, Chicago
    • Karen Cistrunk, Posen Intermediate School, Posen, Ill. 
    • Janice Coleman-Mathus, Bradwell School of Excellence, Chicago
    • Robert Delgado, Emerson Elementary, Maywood, Ill.
    • Ronald Hale, Stephen K. Hayt School, Chicago
    • Bridget Heneghan, Hibbard Elementary, Chicago
    • Christopher Hunger, Maddock School, Burbank, Ill.
    • Carol Ann Kendrick, Bouchet International Baccalaureate Academy, Chicago
    • Sharon Koenig, Columbia Central Middle School, Steger, Ill.
    • Rebecca Kornack, Salmon P. Chase Elementary School, Chicago
    • Kayla Madej, Crete-Monee Middle School, University Park, Ill. 
    • Julia Marusarz, Hamlin Upper Grace Center, Alsip, Ill.
    • Jaclyn Myjak, George Washington Elementary, Chicago
    • Julie Nelson, Reed Custer Middle School, Braidwood, Ill.
    • Miriam Perez, Talman Elementary, Chicago
    • Angelo Restivo, William J. Onahan Elementary, Chicago
    • Mary Rodriguez, Edwards Elementary, Chicago
    • Deirdre Ryan, Providence St. Mel, Amandala Charter School, Chicago
    • Sami Smith, CICS West Belden, Distinctive Schools, Chicago
    • Angela Weece, Whittier Elementary, Chicago
    • Kevin Ziolo, South Loop Elementary, Chicago
  • 2018 Honorees

    • Sylesha Brewer, LEARN Charles and Dorothy Campbell Campus, Chicago
    • Heath Davis, Goethe Elementary School, Chicago
    • Jessica Denk, Stevenson Middle School, Melrose Park, Ill.
    • Melissa Diaz, Notre Dame Schools of Milwaukee, Milwaukee
    • Juliann Frangella, Springfield Elementary School, Midlothian, Ill.
    • Caroline Hoff, UCSN Roberto Clemente, Chicago
    • Mary Jedry, Arthur Ashe Elementary, Chicago
    • LaToshia Maddox-Colvin, O.A. Thorp Scholastic Academy, Chicago
    • Stephanie Morales, John W. Garvy Elementary School, Chicago
    • Megan Otero, Notre Dame Schools of Milwaukee, Milwaukee
    • Marilyn Townsend, Edgar Allan Poe Classical School, Chicago
    • Joan Wilson, St. Gall School, Chicago
  • 2017 Honorees

    • Jenine Bartosh, Crete-Monee Middle School, University Park, Ill.
    • Mary Bragg, Crete-Monee Middle School, University Park, Ill.
    • Eligia David, Linne Elementary, Chicago
    • Diego Figueroa, Sawyer Elementary, Chicago
    • Laura Gluckman, Sawyer Elementary, Chicago
    • Linneth Harris, Southeast Area Elementary, Chicago
    • Theresa Hehn, Garvy Elementary, Chicago
    • Anna Khawam, Haines Elementary, Chicago
    • Christina Mikus, St. Gall, Chicago
    • Alice Miller, Sandridge Elementary, Chicago Heights, Ill.
    • Tamika Miller, Reynolds Addams Elementary, Chicago
    • Laura Turek Pokrajac, Sundling Junior High, Palatine, Ill.
    • Jillian Ryan, Durkin Park Elementary, Chicago
    • Cara West, Durkin Park Elementary, Chicago
  • 2016 Honorees

    • Myetta Ali, Crete-Monee Middle School, University Park, Ill.
    • Eileen Alps, Maternity BVM School, Chicago
    • Sarah Boyd, Robert Healy Elementary School, Chicago
    • Mariah Kraus, Glenwood Academy for Boys and Girls, Glenwood, Ill.
    • Mary Morf, Frances B. McCord School, Burbank, Ill.
    • Graciela Olmos, Sawyer Elementary, Chicago
    • Stephanie Piniuta, St. Gall School, Chicago