The Jeffs’ Best Award was created by the Fairbury Public Schools Board of Education to highlight and celebrate the great work of our staff. On behalf of the Board of Education, I would like to honor Ann Krueger as the recipient of the January Jeffs’ Best Award posthumously.
As superintendent of schools, it is expected to lose teachers due to retirement or relocation for a new job. You do not expect to lose a staff member to illness. The loss we are experiencing of Ann Krueger is profound. She was one of the sweetest, most compassionate, yet strong educators I have had the pleasure of working with. The phrase “what’s best for kids” could have been coined by Ann herself. That was essentially her motto. She did everything with her students in mind, and if it could help them succeed, she was all in.
Some of the memories and nomination statements made by friends and colleagues:
Coworker for 18 years
Team teacher for three classes
Exceptional student motivator
Relay For Life teammate
Country home like an oasis
As a woman who valued your privacy, I’m thankful and blessed you included me as your friend.
Ann was an amazing friend, co-worker, and mentor. She was definitely the epitome of a teacher. Even when she was sick (and we didn’t know how sick), she was still putting students first and doing her job with kindness and compassion. I am going to miss her greatly.
Ann was one of my teachers in school. If it wasn’t for Ann pushing me and believing in me, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. She was so happy and couldn’t wait to meet my new one. I’m so honored that I’m one of the few that can say she was amazing teacher, friend, and a co worker.
Was told today about the passing of Mrs Ann Krueger. She was a terrific educator and an even better person. She was a great advocate for students and I always enjoyed visiting with her. Her smile and positive attitude always made a tough day better.
I grew up on a farm just a couple of miles from Ann near the small town of Gilead. I have always thought so much of Ann as a teacher and person. I loved visiting with her whenever we had combined building staff meetings. We would talk about both school, family and our hometown Gilead community. I know all of Ann’s siblings and she is going to be greatly missed by family, students, coworkers, and friends.
She was one of the Gilead greats!! We will miss her so very much. She was not only a wonderful babysitter, neighbor down the road, but a dear cousin as well. She was so special.
She was a fighter and an incredible person with her students best interest ALWAYS first! ALWAYS willing to go the extra mile to help kids be successful! We had SEVERAL long talks in my office over the years I will truly miss those! She epitomized the true meaning of what teaching should be about! Lucky to have known and worked with her!
My heart is heavy today with of the passing of a close colleague, mentor, and friend. As I came to Fairbury, she welcomed me with open arms, taught me so many things about the high school teaching world, but also about kindness, compassion, and standing up for what you believe in. She made such a positive impact on the lives of so many students. She put them first every single day, even as she fought her own silent battle. She is the strongest person I know and will be missed dearly!
Last spring during covid, she worked all day, every day, to help her students complete work so they could pass.
This fall she has been ill and unable to work to start the year but has come in on weekends and contacted staff at night to make sure her kids are getting support. She has transitioned back to 1/2 days right now, and as soon as she did, there was a change in her students. She was able to get students caught up or nearly caught up. Even with new students, she was able to start forming a trusting relationship with them, almost immediately, so she could assist them on their way to graduation.
Instructionally, Ann is one of the best special education teachers I’ve seen. She understands how to scaffold instruction and break assignments into manageable tasks for students with mild to significant disabilities.
Behaviorally, I’ve seen Ann help students that others struggle to keep in their classroom, complete work and show excitement about success at school.
As an untitled leader in special education, the staff turn to her for guidance. As a colleague, general education teachers tell me they rely on her and trust her fully.
In my nearly 20 years in education, she is one of the top special education teachers I have worked with. I am honored to work with her and am better at my job because of staff like her.
Ann also understands instruction. She uses multiple instructional techniques to scaffold the learning of her students. Because of her effective instruction, the gains her students make (and these are some of our lowest students) are remarkable.
Ann also supervises and coordinates all of the paras for us. This is a huge responsibility that she takes on without extra pay and without Asking for extra pay.
Just as Mr. Brooks shared with us in November, Ann doesn’t run to a principal to solve her problem, she caringly confronts her colleagues to resolve disagreements. If everyone did this in the professional way that Ann did, our culture would be much better.
The students that Ann work with generally appreciate her work. They probably aren’t the students who will nominate a teacher for an award. but she will be someone who does exceptional work everyday and little notice is given to her for just doing her job. She should be strongly considered for this award.”