Horace Mann recognizes Springfield’s top educators

Fairview Elementary’s Kathy named 2023 Springfield Public Schools Educator of the Year

SPRINGFIELD, Ill., May 5, 2023 – Kathy Fox, fourth grade teacher at Fairview Elementary School, has been named the Horace Mann Educator of the Year. She was surprised with the news at Fairview, with students and staff lining the hallways to celebrate her award.

Kathy has worked for District 186 for over 20 years. She received a $1,400 cash prize and a crystal owl.

Educator of the Year finalists were Leah Cookson (Lanphier High School), Brett Dabbs (Southeast High School) Wayne Hamilton Jr. (Jefferson Middle School) and Cecelia Sherman (Washington Middle School). Each received $250.

The Rising Star award was previously given to three promising teachers who have been with District 186 for four years or less. The Rising Stars are Elizabeth Gilmore (Matheny-Withrow), Trisha Iainennaro (Lanphier High School) and Stefanie Midiri (Marsh Elementary). They each received $250 and a crystal award..

The 2023 Administrator of the Year was also announced. The Administrator of the Year is Alicia Miller, Assistant Principal at Lanphier High School. She received $500 and a
crystal award.

Administrator of the Year finalists were James Hayes (Harvard Park Elementary) and Patricia Nikson (Fairview Elementary). Each received $250.

Horace Mann has sponsored the Educator of the Year program since its inception in 1988. An independent panel of Springfield-area community and education leaders selects the Educator of the Year, Administrator of the Year and the Rising Stars.

About Horace Mann

Horace Mann Educators Corporation is the largest financial services company focused on helping America's educators and others who serve the community achieve lifelong financial success. The company offers individual and group insurance and financial solutions tailored to the needs of the educator community. Founded by Educators for Educators® in 1945, the company is headquartered in Springfield, Illinois.