4 Rochelle Schools teachers recognized by ISBE’s Those Who Excel program

Lumzy, Siebrasse, Anderson and Hill recognized for impact on students

Posted 2/15/24

The Rochelle Public School Districts recently announced that four of their teachers have been recognized as part of the “Those Who Excel” teacher recognition program through the Illinois State Board of Education.

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4 Rochelle Schools teachers recognized by ISBE’s Those Who Excel program

Lumzy, Siebrasse, Anderson and Hill recognized for impact on students


ROCHELLE — The Rochelle Public School Districts recently announced that four of their teachers have been recognized as part of the “Those Who Excel” teacher recognition program through the Illinois State Board of Education.

The four teachers honored this year are: Elementary District Language & Culture Coordinator Kimberly Lumzy, Stepping Stones Preschool Special Education Teacher Tiffany Siebrasse, Rochelle Middle School Physical Education Teacher Karen Anderson, and Rochelle Township High School Calculus Teacher Tim Hill.

The “Those Who Excel” program acknowledges educators who have excelled in their craft as an educator and made a positive impact on the school community as a whole through their ongoing efforts on behalf of students. 


Lumzy has been recognized by ISBE for Excellence in Education. She works across the entire elementary school district as language & culture coordinator.

“Mrs. Lumzy’s continual efforts on behalf of the students and teachers in Rochelle District #231 is inspiring,” Central School Principal Justin Adolph said. “She is committed to providing the best educational experience for our students in the Dual Language Immersion program all while continuing to support the experience of our students in the monolingual program.”

Lumzy’s daily duties take her to all the buildings within the district. Whether it is a play-based learning project for the district’s youngest learners at Lincoln Elementary School or the continued rollout of the Dual Language Immersion program at the upper grade levels, Mrs. Lumzy is there to support and lead. 

“Mrs. Lumzy’s job responsibilities are far and wide, but put simply, she is there to do whatever needs to be done to support our students,” Celeste Canfield, district director of language services, said.


Siebrasse, known to her students as Ms. Tiffany, is a high-needs special education teacher who has worked in the district’s preschool program for many years. 

"In the world of tiny triumphs and big challenges, Ms. Tiffany is an outstanding preschool special education teacher,” Stepping Stones Preschool Director Yazmin Nambo said. “With genuine care and expertise, she navigates the unique needs of each child, creating a supportive space where every small step forward is celebrated, fostering growth, and building a foundation for future success."

Ms. Tiffany embraces a multidisciplinary approach to education. She offers not only lessons in ABCs or 123s, but a nurturing presence that fosters emotional growth. She is a gentle guide, a patient listener, and a source of comfort in moments of separation anxiety.  Her days are filled with wiping away tears, bandaging imaginary boo-boos and celebrating every small achievement. Through her caring presence and steady support, she ensures that her students flourish not only academically but also emotionally. 

From being one of the first teachers to arrive in the morning to greet Hub students to staying late to help other staff members as needed, Ms. Tiffany always goes above and beyond in her role as a teacher.  She is an active member of the school community and has demonstrated her dedication to students’ success regardless of what challenges are thrown their way.  She possesses a unique talent for connecting with students and collaborating with other professionals, making everyone feel valued and heard.


Mrs. Karen Anderson is a sixth grade physical education teacher. She has dedicated over 30 years of experience primarily in Rochelle District #231

“Mrs. Anderson has dedicated herself to fostering a love of physical education and the wellness of her students,” Rochelle Middle School Principal Jordan Young said. “Her classes are a welcoming blend of physical education activities that are fun and engaging for her students. What sets Mrs. Anderson apart is her genuine advocacy for the wellbeing of not only her students but all students at Rochelle Middle School. Whether it is creating modified activities or offering extra support and words of encouragement, her dedication to the equity of her students is commendable.”

Anderson is not only a PE teacher at RMS, but also gives her time and leadership to various committees that guide the school.  One particular area that she excels is her advocacy for the social emotional wellbeing of the students. Karen serves on the advisory planning committee that creates social emotional lessons based on students' needs.  She is a leader in sharing ideas, creating lessons and sharing with all staff for the benefit of all students.

“One of Mrs. Anderson’s most outstanding qualities is her dedication to putting students first,” Rochelle Middle School Assistant Principal Katie Smith said. “She creates a safe and inclusive environment in her classroom, where every student feels valued, respected and motivated to learn. Her compassionate approach to education fosters a love for learning among her students.”

Anderson’s leadership extends to mentoring student teachers and practicum students quite often.  She serves as a physical education chairperson for the district and has led the physical education department in the switch to standards-based grading.  She also serves on various committees in the building to help guide continual growth.  Karen possesses that unique ability to create a positive and inclusive environment where students feel valued and encouraged. 


RTHS’s Hill has been recognized by Those Who Excel Awards with the Award of Meritorious Service, which acknowledges educators who have connected with their school community and made a positive impact. Hill as taught at RTHS for 16 years.

"Tim is an exemplary educator whose dedication to his students and his commitment to excellent education are truly remarkable," RTHS Principal Dr. Chris Lewis said. "He goes above and beyond to provide additional support and resources to ensure every student reaches their full potential. His willingness to hold extra tutoring sessions, provide comprehensive study materials, and offer online personalized guidance has positively impacted countless students' achievements.”

Hill has successfully guided numerous students to some of the country's most prestigious universities, including Cornell, University of Illinois, Northwestern, Stanford, United States Air Force Academy, CalTech, MIT, Washington University, Notre Dame, University of Chicago, and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Many of these students have returned to express how well-prepared they felt for these elite institutions, attributing their success to Mr. Hill's guidance and his rigorous AP calculus classes.

Beyond elite math students, a major aspect of Mr. Hill’s impact on students and RTHS is that he not only pushes the most gifted math students, but he also connects with those students who struggle to master college-level math skills and content. Regardless of where students fit, students know Mr. Hill will be there for them day or night.