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Get to Know Me: Judy Chancellor

Sunday, August 15, 2010  
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By Cathy Bayer
RRSTAR.COM
Posted Aug 15, 2010 @ 08:02 PM

Who is she?
Judy Chancellor, 49, lives in Cherry Valley with her husband, Jim, and two children, Andrew and Stephanie. She was honored as a semifinalist for the 2010 Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching and wrapped up the school year as a reading specialist at Gregory Elementary. She completed her undergraduate program at Illinois State University and her master’s degree in reading at Rockford College.

How did you get involved in your career? When I was in third grade, a teacher asked me to tutor a first-grader who had been kept behind twice. I would walk home from school with her and work with her for an hour in reading. As a fifth-grader, I remember going to the second-grade class to work with students in reading after I had completed my own assignments. I continued to work with students, and from that time always wanted to be a teacher.

What inspires you to do what you do? The children inspire me. I get such satisfaction when their faces light up after they get a new concept we have been learning. Elementary students are always so eager to learn new things and are generally curious. I also work with a great staff who always go the extra mile for our students.

What do you do for fun? Spending time with my family, vacationing, shopping, skiing, reading and dining out.

Favorite place in the Rock River Valley: The Coronado and MetroCentre. Musicals and music have always been a pleasurable outing. I also enjoy walking in the area’s beautiful parks and forest preserves.

On a long weekend … my family and I enjoy skiing at Granite Peak in Wausau, Wis.

Something people are surprised to learn about you: When I entered school as a kindergartner, I only spoke Hungarian. I also went to Hungarian school on Saturdays and performed in Chicago, Madison and Milwaukee.

Best advice: One of my first principals told me to start a folder with anything that was good news: whether a letter from a parent, student or accomplishment. She said whenever you are having a bad day pull out the folder and start reading.

What’s the last good book you’ve read? "What Really Matters In Response to Intervention” by Richard Allington and "Strategies that Work” by Stephanie Harvey and Anne Goudvis.

What did you want to be when you grew up? I always wanted to be a teacher.

Your biggest challenge: Raising my children and wondering if I have made the best decisions or said the right thing.

What was your first job? Cashier at Kresge’s in high school. I also was a waitress at a family restaurant. These first jobs helped me pay for college. After college my first teaching job was a self-contained classroom instructing eighth-graders.

This story appeared at http://www.rrstar.com/news/gtkm/x297211788/Judy-Chancellor on August 15, 2010.

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