MATTOON — Ingrid Minger’s five-year career as a teacher has paid off in a big way.
Minger, 27, a native of Charleston and a seventh-grade reading teacher at Mattoon Middle School has been recognized for her impact on her students by being named the 2013 Illinois Reading Educator of the Year.
Having a career as a reading teacher is something Minger said she has wanted to pursue since she was a kid.
“I always knew I loved reading and wanted to be a teacher, so it melded well together,” Minger said. “I also enjoyed the thought of teaching kids and making them the best people they can be.”
The Illinois Reading Educator of the Year Award “recognizes outstanding teachers who make contributions in promoting literacy among students, colleagues, and school communities,” according to the Illinois Reading Council’s website.
This is the first teaching award Minger has received and she said she is honored.
“I was shocked, surprised and excited all at once — I feel really humbled,” Minger said.
Monica Genta, a seventh-grade science teacher at MMS, was one of the people who nominated Minger.
Genta said she feels Minger is very deserving of the award.
“I have worked with her for years,” Genta said. “We are friends and co-workers, I have gotten to know her personally and educationally. There have been really impressive things that have come out of her classroom.”
In order to nominate Minger for the award, Genta was required to write a nomination letter describing Minger as a teacher.
“She is involved in so many different aspects of the school and is a leader within the classroom and schoolwide,” Genta said.
Minger will officially be presented with the award at the Illinois Reading Council Conference luncheon in Springfield on March 15.
“I just love what I do and I never thought I would get an award for it,” Minger said.
The best part about teaching for Minger, she said, is seeing her students tell each other about their favorite books. Minger also said she enjoys when her previous students come back to visit and recommend books to her.
“I always love when my students come back and tell me about their favorite books,” Minger said. “I make it a priority to read the books they have suggested.”
Engaging her students to read on a deeper level is something Minger said she thinks is important for students to expand their education and imagination.
“I tell my students that you can get lost in a book and that you can travel the world without ever leaving your seat,” Minger said. “You can learn so much from books.”
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