McConnaughay spotlights everyday hero: Alice Fromeling, 2017 Kane County Regional Superintendent Award recipient
This week, Senator McConnaughay spotlights Alice Fromeling, English teacher at St. Charles North High School and winner of the 2017 Kane County Regional Superintendent's Award.
Fromeling was nominated for the Regional Superintendent's Award by the staff and parent community at St. Charles North, where she has worked for eight years. Her dedication to building strong relationships with her students along with her passion for teaching English and creativity in the classroom earned her recognition as a top educator.
She knew from a young age that she wanted to be a teacher, and was eager to teach at the high school level.
“I enjoy the age level—especially my group of freshmen and sophomores,” said Fromeling. “They have a young view of the world but are also growing so quickly and still developing their view. When I was in high school, I can think of so many teachers who just looked like they’d love teaching and I was really inspired by that.”
She has spent the entirety of her teaching career at St. Charles North, which she says has provided an enthusiastic and challenging environment for teachers as well as students. The high school also greatly encourages professional development and collaboration amongst the staff to help learn new strategies to keep students engaged throughout the day.
“My students are so fun; I love working with the different personalities, and waking up ready to solve problems and improve the dynamics of the classroom,” said Fromeling. “I’m always thinking about what kids I need to help today or lessons that need more attention, or what my afterschool clubs need.”
What makes her a standout teacher especially is her irrefutable passion for English, and she enjoys every aspect of it—from reading and writing to research and cultural studies. One of her goals, especially as technology advances and writing changes, is to teach her students to identify the purpose behind a piece of writing and their audience they’re writing to. While she understands students have become more familiar with text messaging over multi-page essays, she emphasizes that as part of their future career development, it will always be important and advantageous to have strong writing and communication skills—which she enforces on a daily basis.
She also takes advantage of the new technology available to schools. She promotes group collaboration with various Google Apps, promotes research and fact-checking through different online sources, and coordinates activities and logistics more effectively through specialized apps. One example was a recent scavenger hunt she and her students organized outside of school. By using an app called GooseChase they set up the hunt and it allowed her to keep track of all the participants.
Her impact as a memorable teacher and mentor has lasted long after graduation for various students. Some continue to keep in touch with Fromeling and update her on their career development, and some have even gone on to pursue writing programs or communications in college.
“Teaching all comes back to your relationship with the students,” said Fromeling. “If I’m noticing they’re really struggling, then I work with them to figure out what I can do better or what they need. Sometimes they’re uncomfortable in a group, so I schedule one-on-one time when needed. Solutions involve a lot of self-reflection on my part as well.”
As a teacher who frequently collaborates with her talented colleagues, Fromeling said the award nomination was unexpected and extremely humbling, and she was especially touched by the nomination letters she received from the community.
“Alice has made such a positive impression on students and families throughout St. Charles,” said Senator McConnaughay. “Her energy in the classroom comes from a place of such passion for teaching, and she really helps to develop students at a pivotal age in their academic careers and lives. I know she will only continue to grow into an even more dedicated and outstanding educator.”
Senator McConnaughay is proud to recognize Fromeling for her accomplishments and thank her for her ongoing dedication to St. Charles North High School.