Barrington 220 School District, Barrington High School

Barrington High School Teacher/Alumna Named Finalist for IL Teacher of the Year

Barrington High School Teacher/Alumna Named Finalist for IL Teacher of the Year

Barrington High School social studies teacher Kathleen Duffy has been named the 2021 North Suburbs Region Teacher of the Year by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE). Duffy is now one of 10 Illinois teachers who are finalists for the statewide Teacher of the Year award.

“I’m humbled and honored to be a finalist of the Illinois Teacher of the Year,” Duffy said. “There are so many extraordinary educators, in Barrington 220 and the state of Illinois, and it is surreal to be a finalist for this award.”

Duffy was born in Barrington and graduated from Barrington High School, where she played on the volleyball and softball teams. She went on to attend the University of Chicago, where she studied history and international studies. During her time at the University of Chicago she also played on the volleyball team for two years and the softball team for four years.

In 2011 she returned to BHS as a teacher. “After I was able to pursue my dreams as a student-athlete in high school and college, I wanted to give back and help other students and student-athletes pursue their dreams,” Duffy said.

“Growing up in Barrington 220, I was challenged, supported, and loved by many teachers who inspired me to follow my passion. Due to those amazing educators, I applied to Barrington 220 for the chance to give back to the community that helped shape me.”

Duffy currently teaches Global Studies Honors and AP World History. She also coaches the freshman softball team, freshman volleyball team and she is sponsor of the Unsilence Club. In addition, Duffy is a member of the Barrington 220 Equity Team and the district’s Social Awareness, Cultural Diversity, Digital Citizen, & Social Emotional Learning Committee.

She says her favorite part about being a teacher is guiding students through the learning process and watching them make meaningful connections to a course. “Since I teach freshmen world history, this happens quite often as much of our content and skills are new to them,” Duffy said. “It is amazing to see students travel through this process and have passionate reactions to historical facts, inquisitive questions, and thought-provoking means as they apply their ideas in a variety of creative forms.”

Duffy also holds two degrees from National Louis University, a master’s degree in Teaching Secondary Education in Social Sciences and an Educational Specialist in Administration and Supervision degree.

Click here to learn more about the 10 finalists for the IL Teacher of the Year award. ISBE will recognize all its Teacher of the Year awardees and announce the 2021 Illinois Teacher of the Year virtually during its Board meeting on Oct. 21, 2020.


Formed in 1973, Barrington Community Unit School District 220 educates over 9,000 students at one high school, two middle schools (grades 6-8), eight elementary schools, and one early childhood center. District 220 encompasses 72 square miles in 4 counties and covers 12 villages: all of Barrington, Lake Barrington, Tower Lakes; and portions of Barrington Hills, Carpentersville, Deer Park, Fox River Grove, Port Barrington, Hoffman Estates, Inverness, North Barrington, and South Barrington. Learn more at Barrington220.org.

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