‘Teacher Mentors of the Year’ Honored by McKendree University

Honorees Teach Art, History in Madison County Schools

Lebanon, Ill. — An elementary school art teacher and a high school history teacher were named McKendree University’s 2012 “Teacher Mentors of the Year” at the annual Cooperating Teachers’ Appreciation Dinner on Apr. 24.

Jill Sauls and Barbara Kay received the Elementary Teacher and Secondary School Awards, respectively. McKendree’s School of Education faculty members chose them for their years of dedication and outstanding efforts as mentors to the university’s teacher candidates.

Sauls is a visual arts educator at Lewis and Clark Elementary, employed by Wood River Hartford School District #15 since 1994. She is known for her patience, attentiveness to troubled students or those who need extra help, and the guidance she gives student teachers. Sauls runs the art club and puts on art exhibits at her school.

A graduate of Southern Illinois University, she is currently working on her National Board of Professional Teaching Certification.

Kay was recognized for the engaging ways she teaches history to students at Highland High School.

“She really knows how to use anecdotal information to lock onto kid's interest, keeping them hungry for more. During certain lessons, she will dress in period costumes to add excitement to her content. She also has her students participate in lively period activities. These lessons result in engaging experiences that her students (and mentees) will never forget,” said education instructor Rick Carpenter, who nominated her.

In fact, Kay was unable to attend the banquet because she was busy portraying the Titanic’s “unsinkable Molly Brown” for another group that night. She sent a statement saying, “I had a fantastic cooperating teacher, Mrs. Elsa Cook. She had the patience of a saint. When I am assigned a student teacher, I think back to how she treated me, and I hope I can pass it forward.”

Kay is a Northeast Missouri State University and Webster University graduate who has also taught in Missouri and at Department of Defense Schools in West Germany. She became a National Board Certified Teacher in 2003.




Photo of Jill Sauls

Jill Sauls, Lewis & Clark Elementary School

A McKendree University 2012 “Teacher Mentor of the Year”