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Elliot Judd Outstanding Teacher Award


Purpose: Whereas, throughout his extraordinary career, Elliot Judd exemplified the characteristics of an exceptional educator and demonstrated outstanding commitment to the field of TESOL, ITBE has established a memorial award in his honor.

The purpose of the award is to honor an ITBE member who demonstrates the qualities exemplified by Elliot Judd: outstanding teaching, dedication to the professional field of TESOL, as well as a commitment to the professional development of colleagues.
Award Amount:  $500, plus a one-time registration fee waiver for the annual ITBE Convention.
Criteria for Award Selection: Nominations are evaluated on the basis of the following:
  1. Evidence (as submitted in the nomination) that the nominee has demonstrated excellence as an ESL/Bilingual Education teacher and/or in the preparation and training of ESL/Bilingual Education teachers;
  2. Evidence (as submitted in the nomination) that the nominee has demonstrated dedication to the field of TESOL;
  3. Evidence (as submitted in the nomination) that the nominee has demonstrated a commitment to the professional development of colleagues;
  4. All portions of the nomination, including required recommendations, must be received by the January 6th deadline
*Note: The requirement that all nominees must be ITBE members has been removed.  ITBE is happy to recognize outstanding teachers in our field, whether or not they are members of ITBE. 

To Nominate: Complete the nomination form on this site (Word doc) or through the online system.  If you are nominating someone for the award, secure one additional letter of recommendation from a colleague who can speak to the qualifications of the nominee. If you are nominating yourself, secure two letters of recommendation. (A recommendation form is included with the nomination form.) Ensure that all nomination materials are submitted by the deadline.

Please note: The online submission system closes on 11:59pm on January 6. You will not be able to submit any documents after this time.

Review Committee: The review committee includes several board members who are blindly reviewing all nominations.
Additional Information:
  • The award will be presented at the annual ITBE Convention; award recipients are invited and strongly encouraged to attend in order to receive the award in person.
  • Award recipients will be notified of their selection by phone and/or email in advance of the ITBE Convention.
  • Award recipients agree to have their names and basic biographical information published in convention materials and/or on the ITBE website.
  • The award will be conferred on an annual basis; however, the ITBE Executive Board reserves the right to refrain from offering the award in any given year.
  • An individual may receive the Elliot Judd Outstanding Teacher Award only once in his/her lifetime.
About Elliot Judd

Elliot Judd joined the Linguistics Department at the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1979, after receiving his BA, MA and PhD from New York University.  He developed the master’s program in TESOL at UIC and was its popular director for almost 30 years.

Perhaps Elliot’s greatest legacy is his insistence on the professional status of TESOL as a field, with knowledge, standards, authority, and influence.  When he began his career, TESOL had little professional status and there were few opportunities for career development.  Children with limited or no English proficiency were often thrown into classes with other children to sink or swim.  Non-native speaking adults might find a night class taught by a well-meaning, but usually untrained individual at a community center.  Gradually, through the efforts of dedicated professionals like Elliot, the field began to develop a knowledge base and high quality preparation programs. His tireless and passionate promotion of the field, and the teachers and the learners in it, was a life-long commitment. 

Elliot was an influential member of international TESOL, acting as its president from 2005-2006, as a member of the Executive Board, as Chair of the Annual Convention, and as Director of the Summer Institute.  He was a member of ITBE since its early days, serving the association in many capacities and encouraging countless new teachers to join and become active in their state professional association. 

Elliot was the founding editor of the TESOL Journal, a publication dedicated to the interests of classroom teachers.  He co-edited several books, and wrote numerous articles and book chapters.  Much in demand as a speaker, he gave plenary presentations, papers, and workshops on every continent.  His academic work focused on the socio-political factors that have shaped American language policy, both past and present, especially in the teaching English to immigrants. He frequently wrote and spoke out against English-only policies that abrogate the rights of non-English speakers and was a champion of the linguistics rights for speakers of all languages. 

For all his dedication to the institution of TESOL, Elliot was, at heart, a teacher, utterly devoted to his students. At UIC alone, he mentored close to a thousand students. He instilled in these new teachers a respect for that knowledge, authority, and influence which has come to characterize the profession.  And they, in turn, have passed on what they learned from him to thousands of their students.  Many Illinois ESL and Bilingual educators were fortunate to have been taught by Elliot Judd.

Elliot passed away on December 9, 2008, after a three-year battle with cancer.  Soon after his death, the ITBE Executive Board established the Elliot Judd Outstanding Teacher Award in his honor.
For more information, please contact:
Know an Amazing ESL or Bilingual Ed Educator?       

ITBE is accepting nominations for the 2017 Elliot Judd Outstanding Teacher Award. This award honors English language learning professionals who have demonstrated exemplary commitment to our profession with outstanding teaching, dedication to the professional field of TESOL and/or Bilingual Education, as well as a commitment to the professional development of colleagues.
Please consider nominating a colleague who you feel has made a contribution to English language learning in our state. There are many ways in which people have served and continue to serve our field, and the Award Committee is eager to see how our colleagues have helped ELLs, their communities, and their learning environments. Finally, please remember that though the last three recipients have come from institutes of higher education, nominees do not need to come from higher education. The ITBE Board is more than happy to receive nominations from educators from diverse teaching and learning environments.
The award will be conferred at the 2017 ITBE Convention at the Chicago Marriott Naperville on February 24, 2017. For more details or for nomination forms, please check the ITBE webpage detailing the award criteria or send an e-mail to All nomination documentation must be received by January 6, 2017.

2016 Recipient

Catherine Porter

Illinois Resource Center

Catherine served ITBE over 25 years in numerous capacities including President, Vice President, Board member, and President par excellence. She has been an invaluable specialist for the Adult Learning Resource Center and has served as an accomplished most respected author and outstanding teacher trainer.
Catherine is also a former student of Elliot Judd and, like her professor, she has touched the lives of many students and teachers in the state of Illinois.

Some of Catherine’s many achievements include: 
  • More than 400 teacher training and professional development workshops for ESL teachers and adult educators;
  • Curriculum design work through the ESL Curriculum Institute workshops and individual consulting with teachers and programs;
  • Lead conference planner for the annual ICCB Adult and Family Literacy Fall conference which brings together more than 500 administrators, staff, and teachers;
  • Co-leader of the ICCB ESL task force, an advisory policy group;
  • Author of 5 citizenship and ESL textbooks and curricula as well as numerous articles;
  • Advocate for the rights of part-time teachers. 

Catherine’s dignity, grace, professional competence, kindness, and good humor are personal qualities that infuse her work and interactions with colleagues.
These accomplishments and qualities are truly worth celebrating.  ITBE and Adult Learning Resource center are so lucky to have had such a valuable member and colleague!

Congratulations, Catherine Porter!

Past Recipients
Dr. Theodora Helene Bofman, Northeastern Illinois University (2015)
Catherine Caldwell, Southern Illinois University (2014)

Suzanne Leibman, College of Lake County (2013)
Jessica Williams, University of Illinois-Chicago (2011)
Elizabeth Minicz, Harper College (2010)