Teacher Awards

Our Teacher Awards

CUSF Shining Star Awards

The CUSF Shining Star Award is Champaign Urbana Schools Foundation’s Peer Recognition Award. The award recognizes individual teachers whose exemplary service, extra efforts, enthusiastic attitude and innovative ideas noticeably benefit their students. Shining Star Award recipients receive a $250 award check and a $250 grant from CUSF to use the following academic year.

CUSF Super Star Awards

CUSF announces its new award for Unit 4 and District 116 support staff.  The award recognizes individuals who work in Unit 4 or District 116 in a support role such as Teacher’s Aide, Bus Driver, Food Service, Custodial Service or Office staff (this is by no means a complete list of support staff positions, there are many others).

Super Star Award recipients receive a $250.00 cash award from CUSF.

Nominators and recipients must be currently employed staff in Urbana District 116 or Champaign Unit 4.

Mann-Hankel Teaching Excellence Award for Unit 4 Schools

Barbara Mann, who served for many years on the CU Schools Foundation Board of Directors knows firsthand the importance of great teaching in the development of students. She not only served as Board Chair for CUSF but grew up in a family of educators, both parents having been teachers. Barb and husband Steve Hankel raised two children who attended Unit 4 schools. The nominee must be a tenured full-time teacher/educator who has worked as an educator for at least 10 years- and been employed by Unit 4 for at least 5 years. Letters of support should highlight the following “Teacher of Excellence Traits”

Dedication, Integrity, Commitment to every student, Service and Excellence

Amberg Excellence in Teaching Endowed Chair Award for District 116 Schools

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. The eight traits of excellence are qualities Dr. Amberg believes an excellent teacher will model on a daily basis.

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