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Horace Mann's Annual Educator Recognition Awards

Updated: Tuesday, May 13 2014, 10:32 AM CDT

A chance to recognize some outstanding educators is the focus of the yearly Horace Mann Educator of the Year Awards and a local teacher with 25 years under her belt takes home the coveted top prize.

Dee Dee Duffy is the early start pre-kindergarten teacher at the Early Learning Center in Springfield. She received a $1,000 cash prize.

Administrator of the Year goes to Nichole Heyen. She's the Principal at Lincoln Magnet School. Heyen has 14 years of service with District 186 and she won $500. But Heyen says the recognition is nice, what's special is that one of her students nominated her for the award.

"Have them recognize us and say thanks and you know, we do it for them and we don't do it for the thank you. We just do it to make a difference and to make sure that they are off on the right path and doing great things. And when I heard it was from a student, it just really touched my head. I have a great relationship with our teachers and our parents and our students and just for them to go out of their way to recognize me was a really great feeling."

Rising Star awards were also given to two teachers. Lauren Harmon of Harvard Park Elementary and Darien Orr of Lindsay Elementary. Each received $250.

Horace Mann has sponsored the Educator of the Year award since 1988.

Horace Mann's Annual Educator Recognition Awards


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