OREGON, Ill. (WTVO) — A local teacher has joined an elite club, as she was named a finalist for “National Teacher of the Year.”

Kim Radostits is a Spanish teacher at Oregon High School. She was named “Illinois Teacher of the Year” in March 2022. Illinois’ Superintendent of Education was in town on Wednesday to wish her luck.

Radostits has spent this school year on a paid sabbatical, sponsored by the state. She has been advocating for students who are disengaged from school during that time.

She developed a program at Oregon High that identifies 8th and 9th graders most at risk of not graduating. The program pairs students with mentors, and numbers show that it helped increase graduation rates.

Radostits will fly to Washington D.C. in late February to interview with the National Teacher of the Year Selection Committee. They will name a winner in March.