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District 215 honors new teachers in pinning ceremony

LANSING, Ill. (October 3, 2021) – Thornton Fractional Township School District 215 administrators are quite proud of their first- and second-year teachers — and want to show it.

The District 215 Board of Education meeting on September 28 was an occasion to honor those educators for their service and all that they will bring to their classrooms and students in the years to come.

District 215
First- and second-year TF South teachers receiving pins, pictured from left, are: Katherine Russo, special education; Jordan Oliva, Spanish; Julie Potsic, music and choir; Dwight DeRamus, special education; and Jennifer Biggs, science. Pictured, far right, is TF South principal Jacob Gourley. Not pictured are Andre Richmond, mathematics, and Sahed Yousef, mathematics. (Photo: Jim Masters)
Dr. Sophia Jones-Redmond, Superintendent of Schools, shows a District 215 pin awarded to educators new to the district. (Photo: Jim Masters)

“It’s one thing to recruit [teachers], but it’s another thing to retain,” said Dr. Sophia Jones-Redmond, Superintendent of Schools. She hopes that showing teachers who are relatively new to the district that they are valued will result in more educators regarding District 215 as a destination and a place to call home for the long term.

As a token of appreciation, each teacher received a gift bag containing funds for a one-year subscription to a professional educators organization of their choice. They also received a commemorative District 215 pin.


Jim Masters
Jim Masters
Jim Masters grew up on 191st Street in Lansing. He attended Nathan Hale Elementary, was a member of St. Ann Church, graduated with the first graduating class at Heritage Middle School, and graduated from TF South High School in 1981. Inspired by his journalism teacher Joe Hyde, Jim earned a BA in Journalism from Northern Illinois University. He has more than 25 years of experience as beat reporter, specializing in government, politics, criminal justice, human interest stories, and education.