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)
2018 Summer Institute Catalog

2018 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


  ACERO - Brighton Park
  • Jessica Mark, 3rd Grade Teacher, 1st year Awardee
  • Erin Prater, 1st Grade Teacher, 1st year Awardee
  • Kelsey Schleyer, Classroom Teacher, 1st year Awardee
  • Emily Varichak, 2nd Grade Teacher, 2nd year Awardee, Study Group Leader
  • Alessandra Wilson, 4th Grade Teacher, 1st year Awardee
Lorenz Brentano Math & Science Academy Elementary School
  • Stephanie Arce, 1st Grade Teacher, 1st year Awardee
  • Blair Brodie, Kindergarten Teacher, 5th year Awardee
  • Constance Cosmas, 1st Grade Teacher, 1st year Awardee
  • Kelly Dugan, Kindergarten Teacher, 1st year Awardee
  • Nicole Gavin, 5th - 6th Grade Teacher, 1st year Awardee
  • Anne Kozisek, 1st Grade Teacher, 1st year Awardee
  • Daisy Lopez, 2nd Grade Teacher, 1st year Awardee
  • Vy Nguyen, Kindergarten - 4th Grade Teacher, 3rd year Awardee
  • Nicole Sandoval, Kindergarten English Language Arts Teacher, 4th year Awardee, Study Group Leader
  • Lea Stenson, 5th - 6th Grade Social Studies & History Teacher, 2nd year Awardee
  • Anna Stevens, 3rd Grade Teacher, 3rd year Awardee, Study Group Leader
  • Emily Thies, 5th - 8th Grade Teacher, 1st year Awardee
  • Jeannette Thompson, 7th - 8th Grade Reading Teacher, 6th year Awardee
  • Katherine Yircott, 4th Grade Reading Teacher, 3rd year Awardee
Christopher Columbus Elementary School
  • Kathryn Blochowiak, 1st Grade Teacher, 1st year Awardee
  • Dawn Casaday, 6th - 8th Grade Social Studies & History Teacher, 2nd year Awardee
  • Amanda Gibbs, 4th Grade Teacher, 3rd year Awardee, Study Group Leader
  • Joanna Vail, 5th Grade Teacher, 1st year Awardee
Edison Park Elementary School
  • Lorraine Ortiz, 4th Grade Reading & Science Teacher, 8th year Awardee, Study Group Leader
  • Taylor Robinson, 5th Grade Teacher, 1st year Awardee
  • Morgan Schrage, 1st - 3rd Grade Math & Reading Resource Teacher, 1st year Awardee
  • Nichol Somers, 5th - 8th Grade Teacher, 2nd year Awardee
  • Sara Taylor, 6th - 8th Grade Science Teacher, 3rd year Awardee
Eliza Chappell Elementary School
  • Lauren Gutierrez, 1st & 2nd Grade Teacher, 1st year Awardee
  • Sarah Hagen, 5th Grade Teacher, 1st year Awardee
  • Laurentine McKee, 4th Grade Teacher, 2nd year Awardee, Study Group Leader
  • Anne Merrick, Pre-Kindergarten Teacher, 4th year Awardee
  • Gladys Podgorny, 3rd Grade Teacher, 1st year Awardee
  • Margaret Taylor, Pre-Kindergarten - 8th Grade Reading Specialist, 1st year Awardee
Florence Nightingale Elementary School
  • Diana Del Real, 4th Grade Teacher, 1st year Awardee
  • Maria Martinez, 3rd Grade Teacher, 1st year Awardee
  • Alma Ramos, 3rd Grade Teacher, 1st year Awardee
  • Erika Ray, 4th Grade Teacher, 3rd year Awardee, Study Group Leader
  Manuel Perez Elementary School
  • Sarah Bucher, 6th Grade Teacher, 3rd year Awardee, Study Group Leader
  • Daniel Reinholdt, 7th - 8th Grade English Language Arts Teacher, 2nd year Awardee
  • Eva Rodriguez, 3rd Grade Teacher, 2nd year Awardee
  • Luisa Santoyo, 5th Grade Teacher, 3rd year Awardee
  • Joann Skokal, 1st Grade Teacher, 2nd year Awardee
  Nathan Hale Elementary School
  • Elizabeth Acosta, 2nd Grade Teacher, 1st year Awardee
  • Colleen Anderson, 2nd Grade Teacher, 1st year Awardee
  • Eileen Cahill, Kindergarten Teacher, 1st year Awardee
  • Elvia Hernandez, 4th - 8th Grade Reading Teacher, 3rd year Awardee, Study Group Leader
  • Candace Radomski, 2nd Grade Teacher, 1st year Awardee
  • Jaclyn Treacy, 2nd Grade Teacher, 1st year Awardee
  Orozco Fine Arts & Sciences Elementary School
  • Melissa Gualdron, Kindergarten - 1st Grade Teacher, 1st year Awardee
  • Mary Ryan, Pre-Kindergarten Reading Teacher, 1st year Awardee
  • Lindsay Wesner, 7th Grade Reading & Social Studies Teacher, 1st year Awardee
  • Norma Williams, 2nd Grade Teacher, 6th year Awardee, Study Group Leader
  Orville T. Bright Elementary School
  • Christine Chavez, 6th - 8th Grade Reading Teacher, 3rd year Awardee, Study Group Leader
  • Sara Katzenbach, Kindergarten - 8th Grade Art Teacher, 1st year Awardee
  • Angel Macklin, 3rd Grade Reading Teacher, 1st year Awardee
  • Savannah Zeien, 2nd Grade Teacher, 1st year Awardee
  Maria Saucedo Elementary Scholastic Academy
  • Elizabeth Finelli, 4th Grade Reading Teacher, 4th year Awardee
  • Elizabeth Jameson, Kindergarten Teacher, 3rd year Awardee
  • Meredith Leuck, 1st Grade Teacher, 1st year Awardee
  • Mary Lyons, Kindergarten Teacher, 5th year Awardee, Study Group Leader
  • Melissa Potts, 5th Grade Reading Teacher, 4th year Awardee
  • Shannon Redding, 7th Grade Reading Teacher, 4th year Awardee
  Sidney Sawyer Elementary School
  • Niamh Burke, 5th - 6th Grade Enrichment Teacher, 4th year Awardee
  • Abbi Eichhorn, 4th - 6th Grade English Language Arts Teacher, 1st year Awardee
  • Elizabeth O’Malley, 7th Grade English Language Arts Teacher, 4th year Awardee, Study Group Leader
  • Sameera Pelissier, 8th Grade English Language Arts Teacher, 2nd year Awardee
  • Cynthia Vivian, 6th Grade Social Studies & History Teacher, 6th year Awardee
STEM Magnet Academy
  • Comfort Agboola, 6th - 8th Grade English Language Arts Teacher, 2nd year Awardee
  • Lindsay Demaray, 2nd Grade Reading Teacher, 6th year Awardee
  • Natalie Hall, 4th Grade Social Studies & History Teacher, 5th year Awardee, Study Group Leader
  • Kelley Lynch, 1st Grade Teacher, 2nd year Awardee
  • Jami McDonald, 4th Grade Teacher, 3rd year Awardee
  • Kelly Shade, 6th - 8th Grade Reading Teacher, 2nd year Awardee
  William G. Hibbard Elementary School
  • Courtney Carlstrom, Kindergarten Teacher, 3rd year Awardee
  • Bridget Heneghan, 6th Grade Math & Science Teacher, 2nd year Awardee
  • Lucia Herrera, 1st Grade Teacher, 1st year Awardee
  • Jessica Hodges, 6th Grade English Language Arts & Social Studies Teacher, 1st year Awardee
  • Stephanie Michl, 4th Grade Reading Teacher, 1st year Awardee
  • Alice Morado, 6th Grade English Language Arts Teacher, 3rd year Awardee, Study Group Leader
  • Katelyn Wilkin, 1st - 5th Grade Teacher, 1st year Awardee
 

INDIVIDUAL AWARDEES

  • Alpha Allen, 2nd Grade Teacher, Robert A Black Magnet Elementary School, 2nd year Awardee
  • Lauren Anderson, 4th Grade Reading Teacher, John T McCutcheon Elementary School, 1st year Awardee
  • Amy Betts, 1st Grade Teacher, Josefa Ortiz De Dominguez Elementary School, 1st year Awardee
  • Laura Brody, 4th Grade Teacher, Rosario Castellanos School, 1st year Awardee
  • Quetzalli Castro, 7th Grade Social Studies & History Teacher, Dr. Jorge Prieto Math & Science Academy, 2nd year Awardee
  • Elizabeth Chaps, 8th Grade Reading Teacher, Robert L. Grimes Elementary School, 1st year Awardee
  • Monica Cherry, 7th - 8th Grade Reading Teacher, John B. Drake Elementary School, 2nd year Awardee
  • Anna Cruz, 3rd Grade Teacher, Inter-American Elementary Magnet School, 3rd year Awardee
  • Julia Cygan, 5th Grade Teacher, Daniel R. Cameron Elementary School, 3rd year Awardee
  • Jaclyn DeDonder, 3rd Grade Teacher, Rodolfo Lozano Bilingual & International Center Elementary School, 2nd year Awardee
  • Melissa Dippel, 5th - 8th Grade Reading Resource Teacher, Ellen Mitchell Elementary School, 5th year Awardee
  • Stephanie Dombek, 1st Grade Teacher, John B. Drake Elementary School, 2nd year Awardee
  • Dawn Donovan, Pre-Kindergarten - 8th Grade Librarian & Media Specialist, Helge A. Haugan Elementary School, 2nd year Awardee
  • Kathryn Doyle, 3rd Grade Teacher, John B. Drake Elementary School, 1st year Awardee
  • Krista Evans, 7th Grade English Language Arts Teacher, Horace Greeley Elementary School, 1st year Awardee
  • Megan Fair, 1st Grade Teacher, Mary Gage Peterson Elementary School, 1st year Awardee
  • Josefina Ferreira, 2nd Grade Teacher, Columbia Explorers Elementary Academy, 2nd year Awardee
  • Jenna Frasor, 1st Grade Teacher, John Whistler Elementary School, 5th year Awardee
  • Jennifer Gerardi, 3rd Grade Teacher, Elizabeth H Sutherland Elementary School, 1st year Awardee
  • Lilia Hargis, 4th Grade English Language Arts Teacher, Moving Everest Charter School, 1st year Awardee
  • Colleen Harrah, 2nd - 4th Grade Teacher, Salmon P Chase Elementary School, 3rd year Awardee
  • Christine Hart, Classroom Teacher, Mark Twain Elementary School, 1st year Awardee
  • Cristina Hernandez, 2nd Grade Teacher, Columbia Explorers Elementary Academy, 1st year Awardee
  • Lisa Ingravallo, 1st Grade Teacher, Harriet E Sayre Elementary Language Academy, 3rd year Awardee
  • Angela Johnson, 5th - 6th Grade Teacher, Ashburn Community Elementary School, 1st year Awardee
  • Eva Kainer, 5th Grade Teacher, Jordan Elementary Community School, 4th year Awardee
  • Carly Kauffman, 4th Grade Teacher, Maria Saucedo Elementary Scholastic Academy, 1st year Awardee
  • Carolena Lescano, 3rd Grade Social Studies & History Teacher, Charles R. Darwin Elementary School, 1st year Awardee
  • Mallory Lewis, Kindergarten - 1st Grade Teacher, Friedrich L. Jahn Elementary of the Fine Arts, 1st year Awardee
  • Liliana Logli, 1st Grade Teacher, John B. Drake Elementary School, 1st year Awardee
  • Mary Maloney, 3rd Grade English Language Arts Teacher, Enrico Tonti Elementary School, 1st year Awardee
  • Lana Marchand, 2nd Grade Reading Teacher, Daniel R. Cameron Elementary School, 1st year Awardee
  • Samantha Marcum, 3rd Grade Teacher, Jensen Elementary Scholastic Academy, 1st year Awardee
  • Rosa Martinez, Kindergarten Teacher, Pablo Casals School of Excellence, 1st year Awardee
  • Ann McCartin, Kindergarten Teacher, Mark Twain Elementary School, 1st year Awardee
  • Julie McConnell, 5th Grade Teacher, Christian Ebinger Elementary School, 1st year Awardee
  • Elizabeth McCool, Kindergarten - 2nd Grade Reading Resource Teacher, Ferdinand Peck Elementary School, 1st year Awardee
  • Laura Medina, 3rd Grade Teacher, Mark Twain Elementary School, 1st year Awardee
  • Deanna Mendieta, Kindergarten Teacher, Daniel Boone Elementary School, 2nd year Awardee
  • Mary Miller, 3rd Grade Teacher, Christian Ebinger Elementary School, 1st year Awardee
  • Faith Mitchell, 1st Grade Teacher, Bret Harte Elementary School, 2nd year Awardee
  • Amy Mollenkamp, 5th Grade English Language Arts Teacher, Marquette School of Excellence, 1st year Awardee
  • Melanye Moore-Miller, Pre-Kindergarten Teacher, James Russell Lowell Elementary School, 2nd year Awardee
  • Bridget Mora, Kindergarten Teacher, Oscar F Mayer Elementary School, 1st year Awardee
  • Samantha Murray, Pre-Kindergarten Teacher, Foster Park Elementary School, 1st year Awardee
  • Hannah Nolan-Spohn, 6th - 8th Grade Teacher, Pulaski International School of Chicago, 2nd year Awardee
  • Ekta Panchal, 4th Grade Math Teacher, Chalmers School of Excellence, 2nd year Awardee
  • Amanda Paso, 3rd Grade Teacher, Rufus M. Hitch Elementary School, 2nd year Awardee
  • Erika Pena, 5th Grade Teacher, Emiliano Zapata Elementary Academy, 3rd year Awardee
  • Elisa Pena, 3rd - 5th Grade Teacher, Inter-American Elementary Magnet School, 4th year Awardee
  • Rogelia Peña, 5th Grade Teacher, Rachel Carson Elementary School, 3rd year Awardee
  • Rachel Prastitis, 3rd Grade Teacher, Ravenswood Elementary School, 1st year Awardee
  • Cyntria Richardson, 5th - 8th Grade Teacher, Oscar DePriest Elementary School, 5th year Awardee
  • Yesenia Rodriguez, Kindergarten Teacher, Franz Peter Schubert Elementary School, 1st year Awardee
  • Monika Roszkowski, 3rd Grade Reading Teacher, Daniel R. Cameron Elementary School, 2nd year Awardee
  • Gundry Rowe, Pre-Kindergarten - 8th Grade Librarian & Media Specialist, Walt Disney Magnet Elementary School, 2nd year Awardee
  • Olga Salas, 3rd Grade Foreign Language Teacher, Joyce Kilmer Elementary School, 2nd year Awardee
  • Nora Schmiedel, 1st Grade Teacher, William E B Dubois Elementary School, 2nd year Awardee
  • Amy Scott, Kindergarten - 2nd Grade Reading Resource Teacher, Mark Twain Elementary School, 1st year Awardee
  • Arielle Shanker, Pre-Kindergarten Teacher, Phillip D Armour Elementary School, 1st year Awardee
  • Jodi Shapiro, 1st - 5th Grade Teacher, Augustus H. Burley Elementary School, 5th year Awardee
  • Kutah Sillah, 3rd - 5th Grade Teacher, Luke O'Toole Elementary School, 1st year Awardee
  • LaTia Taylor, Kindergarten Teacher, Thomas A. Hendricks Elementary Community Academy, 1st year Awardee
  • Mary Ellen Trevino, 4th Grade Teacher, Mark Twain Elementary School, 1st year Awardee
  • Tiffany Welsh, Kindergarten Teacher, New Field Elementary School, 2nd year Awardee
  • Brittany Williams, 3rd Grade Teacher, Lorenz Brentano Math & Science Academy Elementary School, 4th year Awardee
  • Demetrice Williams, 4th Grade Teacher, Mark Twain Elementary School, 1st year Awardee
  • Melissa Wojciechowski, Classroom Teacher, Mark Twain Elementary School, 1st year Awardee
  • Hilens Zelaya, 4th Grade Reading Teacher, Marquette School of Excellence, 3rd year Awardee

Building Communities. Empowering Readers.