District 58 to celebrate 35 nominees for Distinguished Service Awards; two winners announced May 15

Congratulations in script with swirling arches in green and blue

Congratulations to the 35 District 58 staff members who were nominated for the Education Foundation of District 58’s Distinguished Service Awards. They will be recognized at a ceremony May 15.

The Education Foundation of Downers Grove District 58 annually hosts the Distinguished Service Awards (DSA) program to recognize the remarkable contributions of District 58 employees. From the 35 nominees, two individuals will be announced as DSA winners at the May 15 ceremony. 

The 2024 nominees are: 


  • Carly Alfieri, Kingsley, BEST Teacher
  • Valerie McKinley, Indian Trail, RISE Teacher
  • Taylor Carroll, Indian Trail, 4th grade teacher
  • Megan Gilbert, Indian Trail, Kindergarten teacher
  • Colleen Brejcha, Fairmount, 6th grade teacher
  • Katie Main, Fairmount, 1st grade teacher
  • Laura Novotny, Lester, 1st grade teacher
  • Jon Vidovic, Herrick, Resource teacher
  • Rachel Bush, Kingsley, 1st grade teacher
  • Ashley Quill, Whittier, 1st grade teacher
  • Jenna Smitley, Whittier, 4th grade teacher
  • Katie Hurckes, Indian Trail, Interventionist
  • Matthew D'Angelo, Hillcrest, 4th grade teacher
  • Katherine Falk, Fairmount, 5th grade teacher
  • Matthew Leiser, Lester, 2nd grade teacher
  • Katie Porter, Whittier, Resource teacher
  • Toni Belken, Henry Puffer, preschool teacher
  • Barb Manley, O’Neill, Family/Consumer Science
  • Andrew Schmidt, Herrick, Math teacher
  • Tracy Rasmussen, Kingsley, Resource teacher
  • Katharine Gaudio, Highland, 3rd grade teacher
  • Kimberly Musial, Highland, 2nd grade teacher
  • Kimberly Fisher, Lester, 1st grade teacher
  • Lisa Rose, Belle Aire, Highland, Pierce Downer, Whittier, Orchestra teacher


  • Jennifer Mejdrech, Fairmount, Social Worker
  • Amy D'Amico and Marybeth Giuffre, Belle Aire, Secretaries
  • Maria Ramirez, Whittier, Head Custodian
  • Lauren Prosser, El Sierra, Fairmount, Whittier, Puffer, Instructional Coach
  • Christine Priester, District Office, Curriculum Coordinator
  • Sara Felker, Whittier, Social Worker
  • Ann Brinkman, Erin Blank, Addie Pampalone; Hillcrest, Nursing staff
  • Marie McMaster, Indian Trail, Nurse

Any District 58 staff member, parent/guardian or student may nominate a District 58 employee for a Distinguished Service Award. Nominees embody District 58’s mission and display the following characteristics:

  • Consistently performs above and beyond the scope of job duties
  • Positively affects children in a significant manner
  • Has a sustained dedication to the education of children
  • Cares about the child as a whole person
  • Has earned the respect of his/her peers and superiors
  • Serves as a good role model to other district employees

Nominations were due March 22, 2023. A team of judges not affiliated with the school or district chose the two winners in a blind review.  The Education Foundation will surprise the two 2023-24 DSA winners at school on Wednesday, May 15. After school on May 15, the Foundation will hold the 2023-24 Distinguished Service Award Ceremony at O’Neill Middle School. 

Learn more information about the Education Foundation at www.58foundation.org

Watch a short video about the 2023 honorees.