Civics Education Resource Site

Illinois Civics Instructional Coaches

Instructional Specialist

Mary Ellen Daneels is a National Board Certified teacher who has taught at West Chicago Community High School for 27 years. She has been recognized as the Law-related Educator of the Year from the Constitutional Rights Foundation of Chicago, Teacher of the Year by the 19th District of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Civic Education Teacher from the Center for Civic Education. Mary Ellen has presented on service learning, simulations, and the use of controversy in the classroom at the local, state, and national level as well as provided professional development workshops in Estonia, Angola, and Belarus. A member of the Illinois Civic Mission Coalition, Mary Ellen has advocated for civic education before federal and state lawmakers. She served on the Board of Directors for the National Council of the Social Studies and worked on a task force to revise Social Studies standards in the state of Illinois.

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Civics Instructional Coaches

In order to facilitate the implementation of legislation concerning a new middle school civics course requirement and sustain the support of the high school civics requirement, the McCormick Foundation has hired Civics Instructional Coaches to represent 10 designated areas throughout Illinois.

Civics Instructional Coaches will receive in-depth training both in-person and via webinars. Civics Instructional Coaches, in turn, will facilitate professional development for middle and high school civics/social studies teachers in their respective regions. Civics Coaches will also be responsible for ongoing engagement with Regional Offices of Education, teachers, schools, districts, and pre-service programs in their area via newsletters, social media engagement, workshops and conference presentations throughout the school year.