Meet the real role models 

Four CPS teachers win Kohl McCormick Early Childhood Teaching Awards.

June 01, 2009

One started a classroom recycling program. One was inspired to teach children after working with women on welfare. One helped older students at her school send a message of hope to her first-grade classroom. One traveled to Italy to immerse herself in a prestigious early childhood teaching philosophy. The four CPS teachers to win a Kohl McCormick Early Childhood Teaching Award this year come from different backgrounds and have different interests, but they are united in their dedication to children and their love for teaching.


The McCormick foundation presents five awards annually to Chicago-area teachers working with children from infancy to third grade, and four of them this year went to CPS teachers:


  • Dayna Darby, a first-grade teacher at Talcott Fine Arts and Museum Academy, 1840 W. Ohio St.
  • Liz Goss, a second-grade teacher at Legacy Charter School, 4217 W. 18th St.
  • Camia Hoard, a first-grade teacher at Frazier Preparatory Academy, 4027 W. Grenshaw St.
  • Lourdes Molina, a preschool teacher at Belmont Cragin Early Childhood Center, 6041 W. Diversey Ave.


The winners were selected from an initial group of more than 200 nominees submitted last fall. The award committee conducted site visits with 85 of the nominees, and then selected 19 finalists. The winners were ultimately selected based on how well they exemplified the best practices of early childhood teaching: dedication, innovation, leadership, respect for children and their families, and commitment to professional growth.


Each winner will receive:


  • A $5,000 cash award
  • A $1,000 cash award for her school
  • A classroom visit from the Kohl StoryBus, a children’s museum on wheels
  • A classroom field trip and day of professional development at the Kohl Children’s Museum
  • A graduate-level course at the Erikson Institute
  • Induction into the Kohl McCormick Academy of Outstanding Educators


The teachers will also be honored at a luncheon June 2.


Check out over the next month to read other spotlight stories for more information on each of these individual teachers.


Learn more about the Kohl McCormick Awards.