Three Teachers to Receive a Cupcake Award from C-U Schools Foundation

Champaign Urbana Schools Foundation is honoring three teachers with a 2015 Cupcake Award. Selected teachers are nominated by their peers and exhibit exemplary service, extra efforts, enthusiastic attitude and innovative ideas that noticeably benefit their students. 2015 recipients are:

• Lucia Black, ESL Teacher at the International Prep Academy, Champaign Unit 4
• Laura Campbell, Kindergarten teacher at ML King Elementary, Urbana District 116
• Jay Hooper, Math teacher at Centennial High School, Champaign Unit 4

Laura Campbell has taught in Urbana School District for 27 years and remains eager to learn new teaching concepts. Her nominator wrote, “She is considered a teacher leader because she learns about new things and tries them out with her students. Other teachers are able to learn from her successes, and move forward with implementing new strategies to make students successful.” Campbell will be receiving a $500 grant to use in her classroom.

Two Champaign Unit 4 teachers will be sharing a 2015 Cupcake Award and a $500 grant. Both teachers exhibit outstanding attributes, but in very different ways. Lucia Black is an ESL (English as a second language) teacher at the International Prep Academy which is housed at the former Carrie Busey School on Kirby Avenue. Lucia teaches a Newcomer Essentials Class for students who do not speak English. Her nominator shared, “There is no mass-produced textbook series that would be appropriate for her to use with her students, so she is constantly collecting, creating and modifying materials that fit her student’s particular and unique needs.” Mrs. Black also works tirelessly to connect families with community resources and help her students feel welcomed by their peers.

Jay Hooper, a Centennial High School math teacher is sharing a Cupcake Award with Lucia Black. Mr. Hooper excels at developing tools to assess student’s needs and accurately measure their progress. The entire math department, parents and students have all greatly benefited from his efforts. He also uses technological resources effectively. Jay provides his students with access to software that is widely used by statisticians and data analysts and designs instructional videos and assignments for students as a resource outside of class.

The three teachers will be honored on Saturday, April 11 at the 2015 CUSF Gala at the Hilton Garden Inn. In addition, CUSF will recognize 5 graduates of our local public high schools with three awards: Distinguished Alumni Award, Local Hero Award and Local Business Community Impact Award. The event is open to the public with advance ticket purchase. For tickets or additional information visit: and click on the “Benefit Events” tab or call 217-398-2873. Deadline for ticket purchase is April 4. Proceeds from ticket sales support the mission of CUSF and our schools.