Collinsville teacher wins 'Mentor of the Year' award

News-DemocratApril 23, 2014 

First-grade teacher Lisa Patterson was named "K-8 Great Mentor of the Year" by the McKendree University School of Education at its annual Dinner for Cooperating Teachers on Tuesday.

The award is given to teachers who have gone above and beyond in mentoring and supporting the university's student teacher candidates during their classroom learning experience.

Patterson has spent her nine-year teaching career at Twin Echo Elementary School in Collinsville.

"I am blessed to have a career that I love and I could not imagine doing anything else," Patterson said. "Making a lasting impact on the lives of my students is my goal but it always seems to happen in the reverse as well, making me a better teacher and a better person."

A graduate school instructor influenced her approach to the classroom.

"He taught me that education is not just about getting a specific answer" Patterson said. "Education can be an exciting journey which allows the students to explore multiple outcomes while having the time of their lives. My personal belief is that teaching is a profession, and teachers should always be working to grow and improve our practices."

The Taylorville resident received her bachelor's degree from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and her master's degree from Rockford College.

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville's Collegiate Chapter of the American Marketing Association won the Outstanding Community Service Award at the organization's annual conference in New Orleans.

AMA sent eight SIUE School of Business students, who are current or future executive board members, to learn from marketing professionals and present the organization's accomplishments from the 2013-2014 academic year.

During the conference, SIUE Collegiate Chapter AMA President Kevin Buensuceso, a marketing major from Gurnee, and Vice President of Membership Megan Splittstoesser, a marketing major from Cerro Gordo, were invited to present at the conference. Their topic was improving membership recruitment and retention.

"The conference served as a platform to represent the SIUE School of Business chapter on a professional level," Buensuceso said. "It was a great chance to showcase the accomplishments of our chapter and share our experiences."

Associate Professor of Marketing and Faculty Advisor for AMA Edmund Hershberger, associate professor of marketing in the SIUE School of Business and faculty advisor for the AMA Collegiate Chapter, found the conference to be extremely beneficial to the students.

"Attending the AMA International Collegiate Conference is the highlight of the year for the SIUE chapter of the American Marketing Association," said Hershberger. "Not only are there a wealth of professional development and networking opportunities, but the students also benefit from hearing how other chapters become successful. They can bring back some really great ideas to make our chapter stronger."

Southwestern Illinois College Nursing students Tracey Phinney of Belleville and Danielle Schaefer of O'Fallon are the first recipients of the Tamarra Lane Courtney Scholarship awarded at the college.

The scholarship honors the late wife of Helitech President William Courtney and is awarded to two students pursuing a nursing career. Nearly $200,000 in scholarships -- made possible by donations from individuals, businesses and civic organizations - are awarded to students annually by the SWIC Foundation.

For more information about SWIC Foundation scholarships, call 866-942-SWIC (7942), ext. 5518, or e-mail

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