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The Glen Ellyn, Illinois Chamber of Commerce has named a girl who grew up in Glenwood City as the District 87 “Educator of The Year” for her outstanding work as the Social Studies department chair at Glenbard West High School.
Kristin (Thompson) Brandt grew up in Glenwood City and graduated with the class of 1993, was the class Salutatorian and served as Miss Glenwood City in 1991. She is the daughter of Rev. Ralph and Carol Thompson now of Shell Lake.
According to a story published in the magazine called “Neighbors of Glen Ellyn,” Kristin accepted a position in Glen Ellyn at Glenbard West school in 2000, served in various positions within the social studies department, and was named the department chair nine years ago. She had dreamed of being a teacher ever since her childhood in Glenwood City. Kristin’s mother (Carol) was a teacher at Boyceville and her passion for teaching was further nurtured in high school by a social studies teacher named Muffet Miller, who was instrumental in showing Kristin how to connect content with the real world, a skill that Kristin would end up employing in her own career. Kristin left Glenwood City to attend college at Bemidji State University in northern Minnesota, where she met her future husband, Bert, a native of Glen Ellyn, Ill. They were married in 1996.
According to Kristin, “One of the most rewarding things is when students remember something from class even years after they have graduated.” Kristin has done a great deal to make the social studies department a memorable experience for the students at Glenbard West, the article stated.
Kristin’s husband, who attended Glenbard High School, is currently the Senior Vice President for Lend Lease, a construction management company in Chicago. They have three children: twin boys named Ben and Ty who are juniors at Glenbard West and a daughter, Kennedy who is in eighth grade and a dog named Libby. All three of the kids are involved in sports. Volleyball for Ty and year-around basketball for Kennedy, while Ben, who has a physical handicap due to a stroke he suffered at birth, competes in track and field with the help of Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association. The town and his classmates have rallied behind Ben in a way that makes his family very proud, according to the story written by Timothy Russell.
The family’s favorite vacation spot is South Haven, MI, where they own a home, in addition to visiting her parents in Wisconsin.
Glenbard West’s school mascot is the Hilltoppers, so Kristin felt right at home and as if everything was coming full circle.