LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Eileen Beckman

Position: Retiring Special Education Teacher
School: Lakeview Elementary School
School District: Zion Elementary School District 6
City, State: Zion, IL

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Eileen Beckman was nominated by Moira Burdi, a family member.

Ms. Beckman has worked in various positions in Zion Elementary School District 6 for the past 34+ years. She has worked with students from kindergarten through eighth grade with a variety of needs. She is an amazing teacher who always puts her students first.

When she was a child, Ms. Beckman struggled in school and participated in several remedial classes and programs. As a high school student, she was told she would not be able to attend college because of these difficulties. Ms. Beckman attended the local community college and then continued to Eastern Illinois University. Ms. Beckman graduated with a BA in special education and a minor in music education. In 2000, she received her Master's of Education from National Louis University while raising two small children. Her Master's work focused on inclusion and finding the best fits for her students.

Over the years, she has been very active in helping parents advocate for their children and helping her students to thrive in the least restrictive environment. She has continued to take classes to learn about and implement programs in the curriculum that could benefit her students. She has touched the lives of so many children and helped them to become the best versions of themselves. Several of her students have come back or donated to her many donors choose projects to express their appreciation for her encouragement and assistance in succeeding in their adult lives. 

She has participated in numerous building and district committees over the years. She has been active in the union and other education associations. She has created multiple DonorsChoose projects to support her students over the years. She has been a support to other staff members and is often a cheerleader for the building, helping to improve the building climate.

"Eileen is an amazing teacher, colleague, and advocate for all of her students over the years. Her district, building, and students will sorely miss her as she retires this year," said Burdi. 



Comments (7)


Kimberly Green Posted 6 months ago

I have known Eileen for many years but it’s been the last 2 years that we have really gotten to know each other better. She is a great listener and very encouraging. Her word is truth and she wears her heart on her sleeve. She shows both compassion and empathy for her students and others around her. She works to be the best person she can be and who could ask for anything more?! She is a treasured jewel and will be missed in our district!

Cindy Zilligen Posted 6 months ago

I have always been amazed & impressed with Eileen's dedication & devotion to her students. Her students are blessed to have her as she has changed the lives of some many children that need that extra support.

Nanette Lasco Posted 6 months ago

I have known Eileen Beckman for 25+years as a friend and neighbor. Watching her relentless commitment to her students and her job has always been inspiring. Worrying about a students IEP while she or family were ill. Making sure her students had supplies and being concerned about their well being, would bring tears to her eyes when she would tell me about her days. She should be celebrated as the amazing teacher that she is. Congratulations to a career that was filled with heart!!!!

Rebecca Guagliardo Posted 6 months ago

Eileen's passion for her job shows in all aspects of it. She is a dedicated and enthusiastic teacher who is always prepared and ready with a creative and fun lesson. She is a caring and supportive individual who is ready to listen to parents and provide suggestions when they request guidance on how to best help their child. She is a knowledgeable and patient team member who leads others through mazes of IEP paperwork. Eileen has a genuine smile, kind heart, and belief that all children can learn and grow. She will be greatly missed when she retires, but she will never be forgotten.

Jessica Gamber Posted 6 months ago

As her former Principal you could not ask for a kinder soul and better teammate. She went above and beyond everyday. It was a pleasure working with her and seeing the great gains made with students. Eileen is a class act that has made a lasting impact in our community. She is just a phenomenal human being, friend, teacher, mentor, and colleague.

Eileen Beckman Posted 6 months ago

Thank you Moira for the kind words! Words to those teachers who are still doing great work… Remember each year is a new start Remember to love your students Remember to laugh with them and cry with them Remember they are your school family - let those kids know you love them! Teach from the heart and always remember to have fun!

Ginny Raftery Posted 6 months ago

I have known Eileen all her life. Even as a child all the way through adulthood she has been a person of great warmth, compassion and generosity. As a teacher she has always been dedicated and hard-working with a joyful and playful spirit!