In a first ever move, our newest Teacher Of The Week asks to not be named wishes to share the distinction with her colleagues.

On Friday, February 9, The Steve Shannon Show announced the new Teacher Of The Week and unlike ever before, a name was not mentioned. Our anonymous teacher is from Spectrum Progressive School, now located in the basement of Universalist Unitarian Church on Turner St. in Rockford. She chose not to be mentioned by name and instead wanted every teacher to be acknowledged. When you read the nomination letter below, you'll get a better idea why she made that decision.

Since July 2017, one of the most unique schools in the Rockford-area, has been on quite an emotional rollercoaster.

Here is a portion of the nomination letter we received from Mary Baldauf:

My name is Mary Baldauf, and my children (ages 4 and 10), attend Spectrum Progressive School here in Rockford.   Spectrum is a not - for - profit School that uses hands-on, experiential learning techniques for children from ages 3 – 15.  It is the only Progressive School in the Rockford region.  There is 1 teacher for every 10 students in the younger grades and 1 for every 12 students in the older grades.  These small class sizes allow the teachers to really get to know every individual student, and to customize the curriculum for each of them.

These teachers have been faced with every challenge imaginable - and even some that are truly unimaginable.

After the Spectrum School building was suddenly sold last year, they didn’t even know if or where they would start this academic year. In July, they found out that they had 6 weeks to move the entire school into some combination of dumpsters, storage bins, and a church basement.

They were asked to pack, haul boxes, then unpack and transform a completely unfamiliar building into an amazing learning environment for children of all ages.

They gave up their entire summer. Their husbands helped. Their children helped. Their students helped. And they never once complained.

They did it for the love of teaching at Spectrum.

The new building is temporary. It is adequate for now, but it is very, very small, and does not allow the teachers to educate the children with their usual “open spaces, open minds” techniques.

A few months after school started, two men, including Rockford Police Officer Jaimie Cox, were tragically killed at the front entrance of the school.

They passed the splintered tree every day. They swept up glass. They swept away tears. They hurt for the men and their families. They wished for peace. They hoped for the future.

Here are all the teachers who shared the cake from Nothing Bundt Cakes and displayed the arrangement from Broadway Florist at the school's front desk.

TSM
  • Tricia Magers - Pre School
  • Tammie Ciciura - Early Elementary
  • Jacque Lind - Early Elementary
  • Sally Wonder - Intermediate Elementary
  • Kelli Greenfield - Intermediate Elementary
  • Beth Baxter - Upper Elementary
  • Renee Corcoran - Middle School
  • Shannon Fitzgerald - Middle School
  • Patty Kaufman – Resource Specialist
  • Glendia Strandin – Drama Specialist and Director of Before/After school program
  • Sue Puetz – Music Specialist
  • Alexia Chikos – French Specialist
  • Pam Peterson -  Art Specialist
  • Chloe Baxter - Before and After School Program
  • Shelley Forss - Before and After School Program
  • Janelle Oster – Preschool Aide