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2012 Speech and Music Fine Art Award Winners: Julie Nelson, Julie Kallenbach and Amanda Allen

The "go getters" who earned the Fine Art recognition awards -- the Distinguished Service Award and the Class Act Award -- are three teacher-coaches who have set the bar high.

This is the third year for the presentation of these awards. The criteria for the two awards are similar. The recipients must be actively involved in IESA Speech or Music. The recipients must demonstrate the ability to develop and promote standards of good performance practices, integrity and life skills within their students. The contributions of both award winners must have positively impacted students and the school community.

For the Distinguished Service Award winner, the contributions must be significant and/or long term for someone involved with Speech or Music for over eight years of teaching and coaching. For the Class Act Award winner, the contributions are from someone involved with Speech or Music for at least 3 and not more than 8 years of teaching and coaching.

Julie Nelson, who has been teaching 6th grade Science at Reed-Custer Middle School for 20 years, and who has coached the speech team for 17 years, is the 2012 Distinguished Service Award winner for Speech. A former member of the IESA Speech Advisory Committee, she has been a presenter at the annual Fall Speech Workshops. Julie has served as an IESA Representative at contests and judged for many years. She never ceases to amaze the students, school, and community when it comes to the speech program at Reed-Custer Middle School. Students of all ability levels are encouraged to participate in her Speech program. Nearly one out of every six students participates in the Speech program. Julie sets a standard of excellence to which her students respond and promotes the educational values that coincide with her program.

Julie Kallenbach, an English and language arts teacher at Brown County Middle School for the past seven years, and a speech coach the past three years, is the 2012 Class Act Award winner for Speech. Currently head speech coach at Brown County, she has developed a strong tie between the community and her Speech team. Julie has developed a volunteer program for her program that allows each student to have an individual "coach". Her program is one that has developed resources that will allow it to be sustained for years. Julie is always looking for way in which to improve the experience of her students and this has transcended into her community.

Amanda Allen, with 10 years of directing and teaching music at Monticello Middle School, is the 2012 Distinguished Service Award winner for Music. The school band under her direction has maintained consistent Division I "Superior" ratings. Her eighth grade band was recently selected to the 2012 University of Illinois Superstate Band Concert Festival, which is an honor bestowed onto only 12 bands statewide. Additionally, her students were honored with a selection as a showcase ensemble at the IMEA Conference, which earned them an "Outstanding Performance" award. Amanda is a superb music instructor and role model for children. Her infectious love of music and drive to achieve excellence is a shinning example of the value music education can bring.

Congratulations to the recipients.



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