King Elementary teacher Sally Thompson receives Excellence in Teaching Award

Sally Thompson, King Elementary 5th grade teacher, received the Gene Amberg Excellence in Teaching Award from the Champaign Urbana Schools Foundation on the last day of the school year.  The award recognizes a teacher who exemplifies eight traits:

  1. Practices the keen sense of criticality of relationships with his/her students.
  2. Utilizes imaginative approaches to keep his/her students interested.
  3. Demonstrates a willingness to take the risk of pursuing needed learner solutions in their classroom(s).
  4. Recognizes and practices that learning is continuous and mutual.
  5. Displays qualities of warmth and a caring attitude toward students, colleagues, and parents.
  6. Communicates effectively with parents, both orally and written.
  7. Applies the concepts of firm, fair, and friendly in the classroom.
  8. Maintains a sense of humor in dealing with peers, students, and stakeholders.

Ms. Thompson has positively impacted the lives of many of her students during her 22-year career with Urbana District 116.  Ms. Thompson’s former student wrote, “There is no award great enough to honor her dedication, energy, sincerity and skill in the way she handles her classroom and students.”  And a colleague shared, “Sally knows that she and her students are constantly changing and adapts her learning and teaching accordingly.  Continuous questions and reflecting allows Sally to always stay one step ahead.”

Dr. Gene Amberg (Ph.D.) began his career in public education in 1972 as an elementary school teacher in St. Louis, Missouri. He was named superintendent of Urbana School District in 1992. In 2003, the Champaign Urbana Schools Foundation Gene Amberg Excellence in Teaching Endowed Chair was established to honor Dr. Amberg’s leadership and dedication to children and educators throughout his career. Professional colleagues, friends, and family continue to contribute to this endowment, to be presented to an Urbana School District teacher every three years for excellence in teaching.

Ms. Thompson will receive a monetary award for three consecutive years to recognize her accomplishments.  King Elementary School will receive a portion of the award as well, as the school where Thompson teaches. The first Amberg Excellence in Teaching Award was given in 2006.  Ms. Thompson is the fourth recipient.

Visit to learn more about the Foundation and its programs that benefit Champaign Unit 4 and Urbana District 116 students and schools.