GRAFTON - Grafton's first-grade teacher Jamie Lumma has witnessed many changes in education in her 30 years as a teacher, but she still loves seeing children's faces light up when they learn something new.

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"I think sometimes I get more excited than they do when I see them learning different things," she said.

Lumma was recently recognized with a 2024 Those Who Excel Meritorious Service Award in the Teacher Category from the Illinois State Board of Education.

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Grafton Principal Mindy Woelfel nominated Lumma for this award because of her exceptional abilities with the children at the school. She said Lumma has helped her in many ways at the school and also helped with a Disney World trip.

"We have amazing teachers and kids in the Jersey School system," Lumma said. "We are K-4 here at Grafton Elementary. We have gone from chalkboards to dry erase boards to computerized boards that light up in my 30 years. We already have first graders working with coding mats and an Indy car. I have worked with some fantastic people overall who helped make me who I am today."

Lumma said she believes many teachers in the Jersey system could be nominated for the Those Who Excel honor, but she said she was very thankful for the honor.

"Our community support for the schools over the years has been great," she said.

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