The Real Life of Illinois Educators: Mandy Miller

ESPs make a difference in the lives of students throughout Illinois and the country. Thank you for what you do everyday! IEA gives ESPs a voice and fights for the needs of its members. Tell us your story. Your ESP Council is here to bring your ideas, and concerns to IEA and help be an added resource for you and your local. Visit the “Contact Your ESP Council” page for assistance.


Illinois Education Association wins Emmy for IEA Teacher Stories

So Proud! Emmy winning IEA

CHICAGO – The Illinois Education Association (IEA) last weekend won an Emmy at the 61st Annual Chicago/Midwest Regional Emmy Awards. The IEA won for Outstanding Achievement for Public/Current/Community Affairs Programming – Series for IEA Teachers Stories. The composite entry featured three IEA members: Susan Hudson from Thornwood High School in South Holland, Gladys Marquez from Dwight D. Eisenhower High School in Blue Island and Nathan Etter from Prairie View Elementary School in Burlington.

“We represent 135,000 strong, powerful educators across the state who work every day to ensure that all students have access to a fair and equitable public education,” said IEA Media Relations Director Bridget Shanahan. “And we tell their stories. Their voices matter. Your voices matter.”

The IEA Teacher Stories series amplified the voices of more than 135,000 educators across the state of Illinois. These stories highlight the valuable work that our members do for all students in Illinois, regardless of their zip code. Susan Hudson’s story featured her work collaborating with educators to bring trauma-informed practices to Thornwood High School.

“While it is a tremendous honor to be included in this Emmy Award-winning video, my goal has been, and always will be, to collaborate with my colleagues in an effort to address the strategies and resources needed to best assist students who experience daily trauma,” said Hudson. “The importance of cultivating relationships with the students and recognizing their value, our compassion and empathy will continue to be the foundation for our work as educators.”

Gladys Marquez’s story featured her empowerment of her students and advocacy efforts in support of the DREAM Act.

“Our students are the catalyst that drives everything we do. They are depending on us to be worthy of them. It is our responsibility to help them achieve their greatness,” said Marquez. “This is their award, too.”

Nathan Etter’s story started with a teachable moment after his husband sent him flowers on Valentine’s Day.

“Me, living my life authentically, means we won’t think alike, act alike or live alike,” said Etter. “But when we learn to harness the power of our differences, together we cannot fail.”

The IEA Teacher Stories are available for view on IEA’s Vimeo page. Susan Hudson’s story is available here. Gladys Marquez’s story is available here. Nathan Etter’s story is available here. The attached photo is available for use. Pictured left to right: Lucid Creative Agency’s Morgan Jackson and Steven Walsh, IEA Media Relations Director Bridget Shanahan, Lucid Creative Agency’s Rumen Andonov and Matt Goett. Lucid Creative Agency was responsible for shooting and editing the videos that were awarded.


The 135,000 member Illinois Education Association (IEA-NEA) is the state’s largest education employee’s organization. IEA represents preK-12 teachers outside of the city of Chicago and education support staff, higher education faculty, retired education employees and students preparing to become teachers, statewide.


Illinois school boards say no to teachers, staff with guns

CHICAGO — School boards across Illinois have said no to allowing teachers and other employees to carry guns at schools.

The vote — 249 against and 198 for — took place Saturday at the Illinois Association of School Boards 2019 delegate assembly meeting.

School boards, including several in the Rockford area, sent representatives to vote on a variety of matters before the association, including resolutions that help shape its legislative agenda for the coming year.

The Student Safety resolution would have put the association’s support behind proposed legislation, if any were filed, that would allow teachers and other school staff to carry guns at school on a voluntary basis if their local school board approves. Most of the support for the resolution came from small rural school districts that can’t afford to hire school resource officers, as state law dictates, and face long response times when violence threatens their schools.

An increase in school shootings has prompted similar discussions across the country, and several states have adopted changes to laws that govern who can carry guns on school property. A similar measure before the state school board association was defeated last year by a vote of 203-179.