Staff honored with Distinguished Service Awards

Pictured are two winners and MC and superintendent

Twenty-three staff members were honored at the District 58 Foundation’s Distinguished Service Awards on Monday, May  15. Two were chosen as winners but as one nominator said, “It must be very tough to pick the winners as everyone is so deserving.” 

Joan Gard, instructional assistant at O’Neill, and Lauren Wilson, preschool teacher at Henry Puffer were named DSA winners. They are pictured above. Left to right are Mia Churma, chair of the Foundation's DSA Committee, Joan Gard, Lauren Wilson and Superintendent Dr. Kevin Russell.

Mrs. Gard was nominated by four teachers for her commitment to her students. “Every teacher wants Joan in their classroom,” one nominator said. “She is an active participant in the classroom by completing the material, supporting all students, and keeping kids on task. Another wrote, “As middle school resource teachers, we could not do this job without her. We depend on her and view her as an equal member of our team. There are not enough words to describe the impact she has made on this school.”

A family and a colleague who is also a parent both nominated Mrs. Wilson. The parent says her daughter plays teacher every day after school. “I will continue to cherish each day she comes home and pretends to be Ms. Wilson because she is exactly who I want my daughter to mirror herself after,” said the parent. The colleague wrote “She wants all children to feel welcome, loved and valued within her classroom. This nominee has worked tirelessly to ensure her students start their school experience positively and learn to love school.”

At the ceremony, Superintendent Dr. Kevin Russell noted that the award was especially notable because the honorees were nominated by their colleagues or families of students. Check out the photo gallery here of the ceremony. Watch the video of winners. Congratulations to the honorees:

Alecia Probst, PreK teacher, Indian Trail
Alicia Micele, Kindergarten Teacher, Fairmount
Ashley Honn, Library Intervention, Henry Puffer
Carrie Redpath, 2nd grade teacher, Hillcrest
Colleen Sullivan, 2nd grade teacher, Whittier
Julie Walters, 2nd grade teacher, Highland
Cori Holtze, Resource Teacher, Highland
Jon Belonio, Art Teacher, Hillcrest, Fairmount, Whittier
Karen Kroll, 1st grade teacher, Fairmount
Kate Salsbury, 6th Grade Teacher, Lester
Kimberly Fisher, 1st grade teacher, Lester
Kristina Hopkins, Kindergarten Teacher, Indian Trail
Lauren Gryczewski, DLP Teacher, Hillcrest
Lauren Wilson, Preschool Teacher, Henry Puffer
Marissa Remus, Kindergarten Teacher, Fairmount
Monica Eilers, 5th grade teacher, Pierce Downer
Shor Costello, 4th grade teacher, Highland
Emily Anzelmo, Speech Language Pathologist, Indian Trail
Heather O'Donnell, Secretary, Pierce Downer
Jennifer Blair, Instructional Assistant, Pierce Downer
Joan Gard, Instructional Assistant, O'Neill
Michelle Rzepka, Principal, Hillcrest
Mindy Werner, Speech Language Pathologist, Henry Puffer