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WIU Curriculum and Instruction Graduate Student Earns Promising New Mathematics Teacher Award

January 2, 2019

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MACOMB/MOLINE, IL - - Western Illinois University alumna and current WIU Curriculum and Instruction graduate student Tami Kelley was awarded the Illinois Promising New Teacher of Mathematics Award at the Illinois Math and Science Conference.

Kelley, who graduated from Western in 2016 with an elementary education degree, teaches fifth grade math in Milan, IL. She was recognized at the annual conference in October in Tinley Park, IL, which is sponsored by the Illinois Council of Teachers of Mathematics (ICTM) and the Illinois Science Teachers Association (ISTA).

The award recognizes one teacher for the state of Illinois who personifies the promise of teaching math well. To be nominated, the teacher must have taught less than five years and be a highly motivated and effective teacher in Illinois whose current assignment includes time teaching mathematics.

WIU Mathematics Instructor Kathy Felt nominated Kelley for the award.

"I had Tami as a student in my Elementary Math Methods and Junior High Math Methods courses. I quickly recognized that she was something special," said Felt. "She is so dedicated, so passionate about math, and she teaches math so her students really learn it. She is the perfect example of teaching students math, not teaching math for the sake of teaching math.

"The award is highly competitive, so this feat is remarkable," Felt added. "As a former ICTM board member, I know how special this is. She has the dedication and passion to teach math right so her students really grow into their ability to do and love math. I am so proud of her."

For more information on WIU's Curriculum and Instruction programs, visit

Posted By: Alisha Looney (
Office of University Relations