Innovation in the Classroom

How many of us remember a special elementary school teacher that made a difference in our lives? At Riverwoods Elementary School, fourth-grade teacher Angela Matteson is impacting the lives of her students, their parents, and the staff.

“She’s really creative and makes learning fun,” said Ruth Anderson, one of Matteson’s current students.

The motto at Riverwoods is “Expect the Best.” And staff say you can expect just that when you walk into Matteson’s classroom.

“She celebrates with her students but then she says ‘What can we do to continue to grow and be the best?'” said Roby Rippel, the school’s Principal.

Matteson’s passion for teaching is just one of the many reasons OfficeMax recently honored her as the November Teacher Innovator. The monthly award recognizes a District 203 educator who brings creativity to the classroom. Matteson say she’s extremely humbled by the honor.

“I feel like I’m doing what all teachers should be doing, making things fun and safe and exciting for the kids so that they’re motivated to learn,” said Matteson.

For about 11 years now, Matteson hasn’t just taught students, but has changed the way they think about their education.
“They’re excited about learning. They’re excited about getting up and going to school,” said parent Erin Schwartz. “They always want to push themselves a little bit further.”

In addition to a giant certificate, Matteson received a $400 OfficeMax gift-card, camera, and printer to use in her classroom and help her students continue to live by the school’s motto, “Expect the Best.”

If there’s a District 203 teacher you would like to recognize, visit to fill out a nomination form.


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