Teachers

The Rochelle Lee Teacher Award is a professional development program for Chicago Public Schools teachers, focused on developing balanced literacy instructional practices in classrooms. Awardees advance students to literacy and a love of reading by providing classroom libraries, daily read alouds, and consistent independent reading time.

Rochelle Lee Teacher Awardees advance literacy in their classrooms by providing balanced literacy instruction. The Rochelle Lee Teacher Award Alumni Network consists of over 5,400 teachers committed to developing lifelong readers in the classroom. Teachers may apply to the Rochelle Lee Teacher Award as an Individual Awardee or as a Study Group member.


Benefits

  • Develop balanced literacy instructional practices
  • Attend the Summer Institute and tailor the experience to your individual classroom needs
  • Qualify for Classroom Library Grants valued at over $500
  • Receive ongoing support from WITS
  • Earn Continuing Professional Development Units

Rochelle Lee Teacher Awardees are committed to Balanced Literacy

  • Classroom Libraries: stocked with high-interest books, allowing students to choose what books to read and to take books home
  • Read Alouds: at least 20 minutes a day from engaging, relevant texts
  • Independent Reading: at least 20 minutes a day, enabling student choice and joy in reading
Rochelle Lee Teacher Award Study Groups are school-based professional learning communities. Study Groups develop a goal to guide their learning throughout the school year, and meet monthly to discuss instruction and push their practice to reach their goal. Study Groups allow teachers to have a school-wide impact on student literacy instruction.


Additional Benefits

  • An additional $200 classroom library grant in January to purchase books selected by the teacher, upon completion (total retail value of $800).
  • Professional text selected by study group to support literacy focus.
  • Increased knowledge of professional literature and current researched based literacy best practices.
  • Leadership opportunities and professional development facilitation experience.
  • A professional collaborative forum.
  • Literacy coaching provided three times per year

Eligibility

  • Four to eight teachers from the same school interested in pursuing a self-selected literacy focus
  • Study Group Leaders must be a returning RLTA participant.
  • Each Study Group should include at least one new RLTA participant.
  • There may be more than one Study Group at a school.
Over the summer, more than 100 Chicago Public Schools teachers come together to improve their literacy instructional practices at Rochelle Lee Teacher Award Summer Institute. Awardees receive access to over 200 hours of teacher-led professional development, and are given the opportunity to tailor their experience to gain the resources and techniques that are most applicable to the needs of their classrooms and students.


Summer Institute Highlights
  • The Becoming Readers Institute – a two-day workshop that explores one’s self as a reader through in-depth discussions and activities around a pre-selected novel
  • Elective workshops that cover topics such as guided reading, using literature to teach math, incorporating technology to teach literacy, engaging middle school boys in writing workshop, and more
All workshops begin promptly on time. Whenever possible, facilities open 30 minutes prior to the start of the workshop. Please arrive at least 5 minutes prior to the start of your workshop. Those who arrive 10 or more minutes late will not be admitted. No exceptions will be made.


Location

The Literacenter is located at 641 W. Lake St. in Chicago’s thriving West Loop neighborhood at the intersection of Lake and Des Plaines. The building entrance is in the middle of the block on Lake St.

Parking

There is metered street parking on most surrounding streets, as well as pay lots on both Jefferson and Fulton. Please make sure you are aware of signage and any parking restrictions in the area. There is a $7 lot on Wayman and Union, directly behind Carnivale.

Public Transportation
  • Metra trains (Ogilvie Transportation Center and Union Station)
  • El trains (Clinton stop, Green and Pink lines)
  • Buses (routes 20 and 56)
  • Expressways (Lake St. and Washington St. exits, 90/94)
  • Zipcars (Jefferson+Lake and Clinton+Lake)
  • Divvy bikes (Clinton+Lake)
2017 Summer Institute Catalog

2017 Summer Institute Policies

View the Application

Submit an application before January 1, 2018 to be entered into a drawing for $100 worth of texts for your classroom library!

Who Can Apply?
  • Pre-kindergarten through 8th grade CPS teachers
  • Reading specialist, special education teachers, and librarians
  • Content area teachers who use literature in the classroom
  • Third and fourth year applicants must participate in the RLTA Study Group program.
  • Teachers may participate in RLTA programs for a total of four years.
Application Process
  • Application available online November 13, 2017 – February 23, 2018
  • Answer 6-8 questions about your current literacy instructional practices (Study groups answer 2 additional questions about their study group goal)
  • Application questions
  • All applications are read and scored by the Selection Committee using the Application Rubric
WITS Library Materials
Lending Library
  • The WITS Lending Library contains more than 400 sets of children and young adult books. Titles are available in whole class sets and smaller group sets. Current and former WITS educators may borrow books from our lending library.
  • View the Rochelle Lee Lending Library catalog and availability online via LibraryThing.
  • WITS Lending Library/LibraryThing reference guide
  • It is strongly recommended that teachers contact Daphne Robinson, daphner@witschicago.org, in advance to borrow books from the lending library for your students. This will ensure that the desired books are available, and that a specific time can be scheduled to pick up the books.

STUDY GROUP MEMBERS


  Augustus H. Burley Elementary School
  • Alexis Ford, 3rd - 5th Grade Reading Teacher, 1st year Awardee
  • Nick Giacobbe, 3rd - 5th Grade Classroom Teacher, 5th year Awardee, Study Group Leader
  • Todd Strother, 5th Grade Social Studies & History Teacher, 1st year Awardee
  • Toni Brew, 5th Grade Classroom Teacher, 1st year Awardee
Bateman Elementary
  • Elizabeth Carrick, Kindergarten Classroom Teacher, 1st year Awardee, Study Group Leader
  • Katie Reed, 3rd Grade Classroom Teacher, 1st year Awardee
  • Maritza Vazquez, 4th Grade Classroom Teacher, 3rd year Awardee
  • Priscilla Rowe, 1st Grade Classroom Teacher, 3rd year Awardee
  • Rebecca Gertz, Kindergarten - 4th Grade Classroom Teacher, 1st year Awardee
  • Samantha Gage, 1st Grade Classroom Teacher, 2nd Year Awardee
Brentano Academy
  • Anna Stevens, 3rd Grade Classroom Teacher, 2nd Year Awardee, Study Group Leader
  • Blair Brodie, Kindergarten Classroom Teacher, 4th year Awardee
  • Katherine Yircott, 4th Grade Reading Teacher, 2nd Year Awardee
  • Lea Stenson, 2nd - 4th Grade Classroom Teacher, 1st year Awardee
  • Nicole Sandoval, Kindergarten Writing & Language Arts Teacher, 3rd year Awardee
  • Vy Nguyen, 4th - 6th Grade Classroom Teacher, 2nd Year Awardee
Edison Park Elementary School
  • Danielle Perns, 3rd Grade Classroom Teacher, 1st year Awardee
  • Emily Skowronek, 6th - 8th Grade Social Studies & History Teacher, 1st year Awardee
  • Nancy Hyman, 2nd Grade Classroom Teacher, 1st year Awardee
  • Nichol Somers, 5th - 6th Grade Reading Resource Teacher, 1st year Awardee
  • Sara Taylor, 6th - 8th Grade Science Teacher, 2nd Year Awardee, Study Group Leader
Genevieve Melody Elementary School
  • Andre Botello, 6th - 8th Grade Science Teacher, 1st year Awardee
  • Charise Roldan, 5th Grade Classroom Teacher, 1st year Awardee
  • Magdalena Sandoval, 6th - 8th Grade Science Teacher, 1st year Awardee
  • Molly Nelson, 3rd Grade Classroom Teacher, 3rd year Awardee, Study Group Leader
George B. McClellan Elementary School
  • Alexandria Ruvalcaba, 1st - 2nd Grade Classroom Teacher, 1st year Awardee
  • Kenyada Burks, 2nd - 3rd Grade Writing & Language Arts Teacher, 2nd Year Awardee
  • Laura Ross, Kindergarten - 3rd Grade Reading Teacher, 1st year Awardee
  • Laura Gillihan, 5th Grade Social Studies & History Teacher, 2nd Year Awardee, Study Group Leader
  Inter-American Magnet School
  • Anna Cruz, 3rd Grade Classroom Teacher, 2nd Year Awardee
  • Claudia Alvarez, 4th Grade Classroom Teacher, 2nd Year Awardee
  • Elisa Pena, 3rd Grade Foreign Language Teacher, 3rd year Awardee, Study Group Leader
  • Elizabeth Alba, 2nd Grade Classroom Teacher, 1st year Awardee
  • Lucy Perez, 3rd Grade Classroom Teacher, 2nd Year Awardee
  • Maria J Vazquez, 4th Grade Classroom Teacher, 4th year Awardee
  John C. Dore Elementary
  • Christopher Riggs, 4th Grade Classroom Teacher, 1st year Awardee
  • Janice M Quintero, 6th - 8th Grade Reading, Writing, & Language Arts Teacher, 1st year Awardee
  • Kelly Crowley, Grade Classroom Teacher, 1st year Awardee
  • Louisa Shannon, 5th - 6th Grade Classroom Teacher, 1st year Awardee
  • Tai Basurto, 7th Grade Classroom Teacher, 7th year Awardee, Study Group Leader
  Manuel Perez Elementary School
  • Eva Rodriguez, Pre-Kindergarten Classroom Teacher, 1st year Awardee
  • Francisca Galindo, 2nd Grade Classroom Teacher, 1st year Awardee
  • Joann Skokal, 1st Grade Classroom Teacher, 1st year Awardee
  • Luisa Santoyo, 5th Grade Classroom Teacher, 2nd Year Awardee
  • Sarah Bucher, 6th Grade Classroom Teacher, 2nd Year Awardee, Study Group Leader
  Mildred Lavizzo Elementary
  • Alfreda Smith, 1st Grade Classroom Teacher, 3rd year Awardee
  • Amy Barton, Pre-Kindergarten - 8th Grade Librarian & Media Specialist, 4th year Awardee, Study Group Leader
  • Annette Ford, Kindergarten Classroom Teacher, 1st year Awardee
  • Kari Bruce, Kindergarten - 4th Grade Classroom Teacher, 1st year Awardee
  • LaTonya Gordon, Pre-Kindergarten Classroom Teacher, 1st year Awardee
  • Suekina Milam, 2nd Grade Classroom Teacher, 4th year Awardee
  New Field Primary School
  • Jennifer Nelson, 1st Grade Reading Teacher, 2nd Year Awardee
  • Laura Hurtt, 1st Grade Classroom Teacher, 2nd Year Awardee
  • Laura Wipf, 1st Grade Classroom Teacher, 3rd year Awardee, Study Group Leader
  • Lena Pankratz, Kindergarten Foreign Language Classroom Teacher, 3rd year Awardee
  • Tiffany Welsh, Kindergarten Classroom Teacher, 1st year Awardee
  Saucedo Scholastic Academy
  • Elizabeth Jameson, Kindergarten Classroom Teacher, 2nd Year Awardee
  • elizabeth Finelli, 4th Grade Reading Teacher, 3rd year Awardee
  • Eva Kainer, 5th Grade Reading Teacher, 3rd year Awardee
  • Linda Aguirre, 3rd Grade Classroom Teacher, 3rd year Awardee
  • Marlena Gustafson, 6th Grade Reading Teacher, 3rd year Awardee
  • Melissa Potts, 5th Grade Reading Teacher, 3rd year Awardee, Study Group Leader
  • Shannon Redding, 7th Grade Reading Teacher, 3rd year Awardee
Sidney Sawyer Elementary
  • Elizabeth OMalley, 7th Grade Reading, Writing, & Language Arts Teacher, 3rd year Awardee, Study Group Leader
  • Erin Senese, 6th Grade Reading Teacher, 1st year Awardee
  • Gloria Taylor, Kindergarten - 1st Grade Classroom Teacher, 1st year Awardee
  • Gloria Venegas, Kindergarten Classroom Teacher, 1st year Awardee
  • Grace Solis, 2nd Grade Classroom Teacher, 1st year Awardee
  • Marlene Avila, 6th Grade Writing & Language Arts Teacher, 1st year Awardee
  • Michelle Chavez, 6th Grade Science Teacher, 1st year Awardee
  • Monica Zaragoza, 1st Grade Classroom Teacher, 3rd year Awardee, Study Group Leader
  • Niamh Burke, 5th Grade Enrichment Teacher, 3rd year Awardee
  UNO Brighton Park
  • Amy Twardowski, Kindergarten Reading Teacher, 3rd year Awardee, Study Group Leader
  • Anthony Zarate, 7th - 8th Grade Reading, Writing, & Language Arts Teacher, 1st year Awardee
  • Emily Varichak, 2nd Grade Classroom Teacher, 1st year Awardee
  • Megan Quinn, 7th - 8th Grade Classroom Teacher, 3rd year Awardee
 

INDIVIDUAL AWARDEES

  • Alpha Allen, 2nd Grade Classroom Teacher, Black Magnet School, 1st year Awardee
  • Amanda Paso, 3rd Grade Classroom Teacher, Rufus M. Hitch Elementary, 1st year Awardee
  • America Olmedo, 4th Grade Foreign Language Math & Science Teacher, Saucedo Scholastic Academy, 2nd Year Awardee
  • Anne Merrick, Pre-Kindergarten Classroom Teacher, Eliza Chappell School, 3rd year Awardee
  • Audrey Cutler, 6th - 8th Grade Teacher, William H. Brown Elementary School, 3rd year Awardee
  • Betty Garcia, 7th Grade Classroom Teacher, Frank Reilly Elementary, 1st year Awardee
  • Brenda Armstrong, 3rd Grade Classroom Teacher, Richard J Oglesby Elementary School, 3rd year Awardee
  • Brett Perry, 7th - 8th Grade Classroom Teacher, Augustus H. Burley Elementary School, 1st year Awardee
  • Chelita O'Neal, 2nd Grade Classroom Teacher, Mt. Vernon Elementary, 1st year Awardee
  • Connie Amon, Pre-Kindergarten - 8th Grade Librarian & Media Specialist, Galileo Scholastic Academy, 1st year Awardee
  • Corina Rodriguez, 6th - 8th Grade Reading Teacher, Mildred Lavizzo Elementary, 1st year Awardee
  • Dana Midura, Kindergarten Teacher, Otis Elementary, 2nd Year Awardee
  • Dawn Donovan, Pre-Kindergarten - 6th Grade Librarian & Media Specialist, Haugan School, 1st year Awardee
  • Deborah Riddle, Pre-Kindergarten - 8th Grade Teacher, Mt. Vernon Elementary, 1st year Awardee
  • Deirdre Keane, Pre-Kindergarten - 8th Grade Librarian & Media Specialist, Lasalle II Magnet School, 1st year Awardee
  • Diana Zurawski, 7th - 8th Grade Reading, Writing, & Language Arts Teacher, Galileo Scholastic Academy, 4th year Awardee
  • Edna Tores, 6th - 8th Grade Enrichment & Technology Classroom Teacher, Frank Reilly Elementary, 3rd year Awardee
  • Eileen Holzhauer, Pre-Kindergarten - 8th Grade Librarian & Media Specialist, Murray Language Academy, 1st year Awardee
  • Ekta Panchal, 4th - 5th Grade Math Teacher, Chalmers School, 1st year Awardee
  • Elizabeth Wiedegreen, 7th - 8th Grade Teacher, Augustus H. Burley Elementary School, 2nd Year Awardee
  • Elizabeth Evans, Pre-Kindergarten & Kindergarten Teacher, Montessori School of Englewood, 3rd year Awardee
  • Emma Vanderheyden, Kindergarten Classroom Teacher, Claremont Academy, 1st year Awardee
  • Erika Ray, 3rd Grade Classroom Teacher, Hedges School, 2nd Year Awardee
  • Erika Pena, 5th Grade Teacher, Emiliano Zapata Elementary Academy, 2nd Year Awardee
  • Erin Szarnych, 4th Grade Classroom Teacher, Louis J. Agassiz School, 1st year Awardee
  • Erin Flynn, Kindergarten Classroom Teacher, National Teachers Elementary Academy, 1st year Awardee
  • Gabrielle Amyx, 3rd Grade Teacher, Charles N. Holden Elementary School, 2nd Year Awardee
  • Gundry Rowe, Pre-Kindergarten - 8th Grade Librarian & Media Specialist, Walt Disney Magnet School, 1st year Awardee
  • Heather Smith Vanduan, 3rd Grade Teacher, Washington Irving Elementary, 1st year Awardee
  • Jaclyn DeDonder, 3rd - 5th Grade Teacher, Lozano Bilingual School, 1st year Awardee
  • Janette Bustamante, 4th Grade Classroom Teacher, Lozano Bilingual School, 1st year Awardee
  • Jasmine Adams, 1st - 6th Grade Writing & Language Arts Teacher, Myra Bradwell Academy, 1st year Awardee
  • Jena Parsons, Kindergarten - 2nd Grade Teacher, North River Elementary, 3rd year Awardee
  • Jennifer Tenca, 4th - 8th Grade Teacher, CICS West Belden, 1st year Awardee
  • Joris Soeding, 4th Grade Writing & Language Arts Teacher, Philip Rogers Elementary, 4th year Awardee
  • Josefina Ferreira, 2nd Grade Teacher, Columbia Explorers Academy, 1st year Awardee
  • Kathleen Vaulman, 6th Grade Reading Teacher, Mildred Lavizzo Elementary, 2nd Year Awardee
  • Kathryn Cannady, Pre-Kindergarten Teacher, UC Donoghue Charter School, 2nd Year Awardee
  • Kirby Morrison, 7th - 8th Grade Counselor/Math & Reading Teacher, Chavez School, 1st year Awardee
  • Laurentine McKee, 4th Grade Classroom Teacher, Eliza Chappell School, 1st year Awardee
  • Marilyn Duff, Kindergarten Teacher, Swift Specialty School, 3rd year Awardee
  • Marisa Ayala, 2nd Grade Teacher, West Park School, 2nd Year Awardee
  • Mary Espinosa, 4th Grade Teacher, Dr. Jorge Prieto Math & Science Academy, 1st year Awardee
  • Monika Roszkowski, 3rd Grade Reading Teacher, Cameron Elementary, 1st year Awardee
  • Nancy Montoya, 4th Grade Reading Teacher, Chavez School, 2nd Year Awardee
  • Nicole Miano, Kindergarten - 2nd Grade Foreign Language Teacher, CICS Irving Park, 1st year Awardee
  • Nora Schmiedel, 1st Grade Teacher, DuBois School, 1st year Awardee
  • Quetzalli Castro, 7th - 8th Grade Reading Teacher, Dr. Jorge Prieto Math & Science Academy, 1st year Awardee
  • Ragan Mozee, 1st - 2nd Grade Classroom Teacher, Sizemore Academy, 1st year Awardee
  • Raquel Valenzuela, 5th Grade Classroom Teacher, Frederick Funston Elementary School, 2nd Year Awardee
  • Rogelia Peña, 5th Grade Foreign Language Classroom Teacher, Rachel Carson Elementary, 2nd Year Awardee
  • Rosalba Granados, Kindergarten Classroom Teacher, Talcott Fine Arts and Museum Academy, 1st year Awardee
  • Samantha Ellison, 5th - 6th Grade Teacher, Chavez School, 1st year Awardee
  • Samantha Walston, 4th Grade Reading Teacher, Deneen School of Excellence, 2nd Year Awardee
  • Sarah Larsion, 3rd Grade Teacher, Edison Regional Gifted Center, 1st year Awardee
  • Tonya Y Sims, 1st Grade Teacher, Charles W Earle Elementary School, 3rd year Awardee