Lewis Honors Natalie Johnson with Educationis Lumen Award

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Lewis University Honors Natalie Johnson with Educationis Lumen Award

Published: May 6, 2019.

Lewis University’s College of Education honored Natalie Johnson with the Educationis Lumen Award during the annual recognition ceremony May 1. The Indian Prairie School District 204 math teacher has been a leader in the field of education and personifies the Catholic and Lasallian values honored in the Educationis Lumen Award.

Her nominator and department chair, Jacqueline Palmquist, commented, “Her classroom is more than math content; it is life lessons about learning and growing that happen to use mathematics as the subject matter. … She takes learning objectives and makes them come alive in an enjoyable, challenging fashion for both the high-end advanced math student, as well as the struggling, anxious, ‘tough-to-engage’ math student.”

A native of Birmingham, Ala., Johnson received her Bachelor of Science degree in Pure Mathematics from Talladega College, Master of Science degree in Applied Mathematics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y. and Master of Arts degree in Secondary Education from Lewis University (2001). She is currently a Doctoral candidate in Industrial and Organizational Psychology at Grand Canyon University.

In 2001, Johnson began her teaching career in Indian Prairie School District 204, where she has served on the faculties of both Waubonsie and Metea Valley High Schools. In addition to teaching advanced placement and general math courses, Johnson mentors new teachers, leads small curricular teams, and is active in school improvement planning. She also led Metea Valley High School’s first Moody Mega Math Challenge internet competition, sponsors the Black Student Alliance, and serves as a summer enrichment mathematics leader for 6th-12th-grade students. Johnson has worked with the Illinois State Board of Education to revamp the Teacher Certification Exam, serves as a member of the College of Education’s Advisory Board at Lewis University, mentors youth in the community in a structured Saturday program and provides Gold Award workshops for the Girl Scouts of America.

Johnson is a two time U.S. Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching State Finalist in 2015 and 2017. She has received the Indian Prairie School District’s Most Influential Teacher Award and the Top 30 Students’ Most Influential Teacher Award. She also has been recognized with an Excellence in Teaching Award for College Test Prep and ACT Prep, the Equity Champion in Education Award, the Illinois Director of Student Activities Community Educator Award, the Educator of Distinction National Society of High School Scholars Award and the McDonald’s Corporation Innovation Award for creating their cashless technology system.

Lewis University is an innovative and forward-thinking Catholic university offering market-relevant undergraduate and graduate programs to 6,500 students. Sponsored by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, Lewis University is nationally recognized for preparing intellectually engaged, ethically grounded, globally connected and socially responsible graduates. Visit www.lewisu.edu for further information.

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