Georgetown Elementary School teacher honored as Illinois' Teacher of the Year 2024

Christian Piekos Image
Thursday, May 2, 2024
West suburban teacher receives Illinois' Teacher of the Year award
Dr. Rachael Mahmood is the first in the Indian Prairie School District to be named Teacher of the Year.

AURORA, Ill. (WLS) -- A west suburban elementary school teacher was named Illinois' Teacher of the Year.

Georgetown Elementary fifth grade Teacher Rachael Mahmood was surprised with the news on Thursday.

"I hope that my students know how much I care about them, how hard I work to make sure guys have such a great educational experience and that you love coming to school every day," Mahmood said.

She is the first teacher in the west suburban Indian Prairie School District to be named Teacher of the Year.

"I just want other teachers to realize just how incredibly lucky we are to have a job where we get to hang out all day with kids who love us unconditionally," she said.

Mahmood has been teaching for nearly two decades and has spent the last nine years at Georgetown Elementary in Aurora.

She was one of 13 finalists across the state.

"Dr. Mahmood rose to the forefront," Board Chairman of the State Board of Education Steven Isoya said. "She embodies the qualities of an exceptional educator and inspiring leader."

Georgetown Elementary Principal Jill Keller said her impact to students is seen in and out of class.

"All I can say is we are immensely proud to celebrate her today," Keller said.

Mahmood will take a one-year state funded sabbatical to represent Illinois teachers on the national stage.

CHICAGO PROUD | Community donations help 81-year-old pizza delivery man buy new car after Jefferson Park carjacking