Lincoln Magnet’s Christie Jones named 2019 Educator of the Year

Hazel Dell’s Jamar Scott named 2019 Administrator of the Year

Christie Jones, 8th grade writing, literature, AVID teacher at Lincoln Magnet School, has been named the Horace Mann Educator of the Year. Also, Jamar Scott, principal of Hazel Dell Elementary School, was named Horace Mann Administrator of the Year. Both recipients were recognized at a May 7 luncheon sponsored by Springfield Public Schools District 186 and Horace Mann for the 32nd consecutive year.

Christie Jones has worked for District 186 for 32 years and currently serves as 8th grade writing, literature, AVID teacher at Lincoln Magnet School. She is noted for her leadership, engaging projects, enthusiasm, high expectations, caring nature and supporting students in their college and career exploration. District 186 Superintendent Jennifer Gill and Horace Mann President and CEO Marita Zuraitis presented Jones with a crystal owl and $1,000 cash prize.

Jamar Scott has been an administrator in District 186 for 11 years, and principal at Hazel Dell for the last seven years. He is noted for his warmth, enthusiasm, commitment to excellence for students and staff, willingness to lead by example with integrity and vision, and ability to grow, learn and empower all within the school. He was presented with $500 and a crystal award.

“Horace Mann is proud to sponsor the Educator of the Year program for the 32nd consecutive year,” said Horace Mann President and CEO Marita Zuraitis. “Representing a company Founded by Educators for Educators right here in Springfield, I firmly believe that of all the ways Horace Mann gives back to the educator community across the country, it should begin in our hometown.”

Educator of the Year finalists were Abbey Dirksen (Southeast High School), Sherry Frachey (Iles School), Dan Hartman (Dubois Elementary) and Sharon Jones (Hazel Dell Elementary). They each received $250.

Administrator of the Year finalists were Arwah Franklin (Community Based Programs) and Kenyatta Revelle (Iles School). They each received $250.

The Rising Star award was given to three promising teachers who have been with the District four years or less. The Rising Stars are Beverly Harmon (Fairview Elementary), Janette Smith (Early Learning Center) and Abby Vespa (Fairview Elementary). They each received $250 and a crystal award.

Horace Mann has sponsored the Educator of the Year program since its inception in 1988. An independent panel of Springfield-area community and education leaders selects the Educator of the Year, Administrator of the Year, and the Rising Stars.

Horace Mann — the largest national multiline insurance company focusing on educators’ financial needs — provides auto and homeowners insurance, retirement annuities, life insurance and other financial solutions. Founded by educators for educators® in 1945, the company is headquartered in Springfield, Illinois. For more information visit

For more information about District 186, visit


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