Eiskant and Herrington are Education's ‘Great Mentors of the Year’


Lebanon, Ill. — McKendree University recognized two O’Fallon educators as its 2011 “Great Mentors of the Year” at an awards dinner on Apr. 14 in the Hettenhausen Center for the Arts on campus.

Robyn Eiskant and J. Patrick Herrington received the Elementary Teacher Award and Secondary School Awards, respectively. McKendree University School of Education faculty members chose them for their dedication and outstanding efforts with the university’s teacher candidates throughout their years of service.

Photo of Robyn Eiskant and J. Patrick HerringtonRobyn Eiskant has taught physical education for six years at Moye Elementary School in O’Fallon. She likes to involve the school and community in special projects, such as the American Heart Association’s Rope Jump for Heart or the Reading and Running Across America’s program. The Belleville native attended high school in northern Virginia and graduated from George Mason University in 1998.

“Being part of a student teacher’s success and growth is incredibly rewarding,” she said. “Having a student teacher invigorates my classroom, and it helps to refine my own teaching abilities. My advice for new teachers is to be passionate about what you do, and remember that tomorrow is always a new day.”

J. Patrick Herrington, of Fairview Heights, is chair of the Math Department at O’Fallon Township High School (OTHS), where he has taught mathematics at all levels of the curriculum since 1979 and served as chair of its Math Department since 1985.

For many years he has supported McKendree’s education program by matching the university’s teacher candidates with two or three cooperating teachers from his own department. Opportunities to teach and observe math classes in grades nine through twelve give McKendree’s teacher candidates experience in a variety of strategies and expertise.

“Six of the 20 OTHS math teachers are McKendree graduates from either our undergraduate or graduate programs. Thus, he not only helps us prepare viable prospective candidates, he helps prepare them well enough that he hires them for his own department—quite a stamp of approval,” noted Dr. Martha Eggers, assistant professor of education.

Herrington accepted the mentor award on behalf of all O’Fallon Township High School math teachers.