Get to Know Our 20 Finalists!
Allison Decman of Rockford does double duty at Keith Country Day School. She both teaches third grade (the year she says “students transition from learning how to read and write, to reading to learn information, as well as show critical thinking in their educational written responses) and serves as Director of Lower School, where she oversees teachers, students and families from Pre-K through fourth grade. With 17 years of teaching experience, she has been with Keith for the last eight years. She has been praised for going above and beyond in bringing attention to the need for funds to provide for and fulfill students’ educational needs. With that need in mind, she coordinates Race for Education and World’s Finest Chocolate candy fundraisers. At the start of the school year, Allison sends a survey home to the students’ families so she can learn more about her students. “Parents are my students’ first teachers and they know their child’s strength and weaknesses. I create a partnership with my students’ families.” It is apparent that the families appreciate her efforts to include them as she guides their children. Several parents shared that Allison allows students to learn in fun, creative and effective ways. She has related math problems to soccer or hockey games to gain the interest of her students in those sports and connects reading activities to many cultures. One of Allison’s peers summed up her admiration by declaring that “Mrs. Decman is the teacher all teachers aspire to be. She teaches more than academics. She teaches her students about life and, more importantly, how to be the best person they can be. She encourages her students to dream big and shows them how to reach their goals, no matter how big or small those dreams may be.”