Local teachers get state recognition

SPRINGFIELD – Two local teachers are among 36 educators who will be honored today as the best in their field.

Matthew Beck, a former counselor at Erie Elementary School, and Carl Erbsen, a second-grade teacher at Eastland Elementary School in Lanark, will be recognized at a luncheon given by the Illinois State Board of Education, the Illinois Education Association and the Illinois Federation of Teachers.

Beck was named the 2013 Educator of the Year by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network for his efforts to promote a diversity curriculum at the school.

Erbsen was named an Agriculture in the Classroom Teacher of the Year by the Illinois Farm Bureau.

“These outstanding teachers have demonstrated their passion for teaching in a variety of curriculum arenas,” State Superintendent of Education Christopher Koch said in a news release. “They are tireless in their pursuit of finding ways to help ensure students are learning and succeeding.

“We are pleased to have the opportunity to extend our thanks and appreciation for their commitment to Illinois’ students and education.”