Lewis University’s College of Education honored Kathryn Sulkowski with the Educationis Lumen Award during the annual recognition ceremony Dec. 4. Dean Dr. Pamela Jessee presented the award to the teacher, who has been a leader in the field of education for the past eight years. Sulkowski personifies the Catholic and Lasallian values honored in the Educationis Lumen Award.
“Kathy Sulkowski has been a true ‘shining light’ in our district since she arrived from Lewis eight years ago,” her nominator Tim Reilly, Assistant Superintendent of Lincoln-Way Central High School District 210 said. “She is an incredible young teacher who has made a great impact on many students. She is a superb representative of Lewis University and the College of Education.”
The Educationis Lumen Award is presented annually by the College of Education to one graduate based upon the individual’s accomplishments as a professional educator. The criteria for the selection includes evidence of excellence in teaching, commitment to the finest Christian ideals of education and dedication to the teaching profession. In sum, the educator’s work in schools has proven to be “a light in education” and has inspired and guided others to make a difference for students, their families and their communities.
As a native of Chicago, Sulkowski earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Lewis University in 2006, along with her master’s degree in reading and literacy in 2011. Upon receiving her undergraduate degree, Sulkowski began her career as a history teacher at Marist High School in Chicago. In 2007, she joined the faculty of Lincoln-Way Central High School as a reading advisory strategies teacher. She is currently in her seventh year of teaching reading at the New Lenox school where she has led her students to significant gains and progress in literacy.
In addition to her teaching responsibilities, Sulkowski was instrumental in the formation of the D.O.V.E. club (Developing Opportunities to Value Everyone). The club offers a forum for students of diversity and a place to feel comfortable and respected for who they are. Sulkowski is also the sponsor for Peer Helpers and the Gamers Club, both of which lend assistance and support to students as they face various difficulties and challenges.
Sulkowski is a valuable member of the Student Intervention Team where students facing substance abuse issues can find counsel and support. She is the sponsor of the award-winning Breakfast Study Club, in which she volunteers her classroom each morning as a “safe haven” for students seeking help, encouragement and tutoring.
Recognized by her peers, Sulkowski was named Lincoln-Way Central High School’s Teacher of the Year in 2013. She was also selected as a Lincoln-Way High School District Destination Excellence Award Recipient in 2011. Destination Excellence is an award given by the Lincoln-Way School Board in recognition of staff who help make Lincoln-Way Community High School a special place and whose contributions maximize the academic and social growth of District 210 students.
Extending her classroom to the hardwood floor, Sulkowski has become a highly successful coach of the varsity girls’ volleyball team. During her five years at the helm, Sulkowski has led the team to state-wide rankings, two conference championships, two IHSA regional championships and the school record for wins in 2012 and 2013. This had earned her Illinois State Coach of the Year nominations.
The College of Education serves students in undergraduate and graduate programs. The teacher education programs at Lewis University benefit from clinical agreements with more than 60 schools and districts in northeastern Illinois. The College of Education continually enhances existing programs in accordance with the Illinois State Board of Education standards. It is also accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).
Lewis University is a Catholic university in the Lasallian tradition offering distinctive undergraduate and graduate programs to more than 6,600 traditional and adult students. Lewis offers multiple campus locations, online degree programs, and a variety of formats that provide accessibility and convenience to a growing student population. Sponsored by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, Lewis prepares intellectually engaged, ethically grounded, globally connected, and socially responsible graduates. The seventh largest private not-for-profit university in Illinois, Lewis has been nationally recognized by The Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report. Visit www.lewisu.edu for further information.
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