Champaign Urbana Schools Foundation (CUSF) will honor Jill Cappa, English Language Arts teacher at Jefferson Middle School; Champaign Unit 4, and Emily Carter, Special Education teacher at Urbana High School; Urbana School District 116 with the 2019 Cupcake Awards.

Selected teachers are nominated by their peers and exhibit exemplary service, extra efforts, enthusiastic attitude and innovative ideas that noticeably benefit their students.


Jill Cappa
Jefferson Middle School

Jill Cappa has been teaching English Language Arts at Jefferson Middle School for 15 years. Her nominator notes “Jill is a teacher with experience and expertise in her curriculum, but also with the culture and climate of Jefferson.” Besides teaching writing, social studies and reading, Jill has also been a cross country and volleyball coach, a teacher mentor, and union steward. “Jill is part of a foundation of veteran teachers at Jefferson who are constantly striving to make the school exceptional for students and families alike. She is constantly reflecting on her practice to make sure she is responding to changing student needs.”


Emily Carter
Urbana High School

Emily Carter has been teaching special education at Urbana High School for three years, and is already making a significant impact on her students, and the school community. In her role collaborating with co-workers, her nominator emphasizes that Emily goes “way out of her way to support student success. “Ms. Carter makes visits to students and families in their homes, their future schools, and even correctional facilities to demonstrate her commitment to every child’s success. She serves as the chair for the UHS Social Justice Committee, tutors before and after school and takes on multiple homebound students who need access to teachers willing to support them in difficult times.”

Both teachers will receive a $500 grant from CUSF for their classrooms and will be honored on Thursday, May 23 at the 2019 Napleton’s Auto Park Teacher of the Year Ceremony at Napleton’s Toyota in Urbana.