Those Who Excel Awards
D62 Staff Honored by State Board for Contributions to Education
Seven School District 62 staff members were amongst approximately 200 statewide educators that were recognized this past weekend by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) at the 2014 Those Who Excel awards’ banquet in Bloomington-Normal, Illinois. This was the ISBE’s 40th statewide salute to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to education in Illinois.
Associate Superintendent Paul Hertal, Administrator; Florentina Marchisotto, Sylvia Roe, Laura Morales, and Tabitha Lueken, Recognition
Dale Bohne, Forest Elementary School, is an exemplary professional who was honored with a Those Who Excel Award in the Educational Service Personnel Category. He maintains a high level of cleanliness throughout a large 120,000 square foot facility that houses Forest Elementary School, the Early Learning Center, and the Instructional, Second Language, and Student Services Departments. Dale is responsive to five administrators and accommodates multiple parent and teacher requests. When Dale is asked to take care of something, he is said to be "Johnny on the spot." Dale is conscientious of instructional time and takes care of classroom requests quickly. He is cognizant of when students are present. Forest has had numerous instances with lockers that jam and desks that need repairing. Dale is always quick to respond and does it with a smile on his face-no matter how many times he is asked to help. Dale goes above and beyond the call of duty. When one of students had a latex allergy, Dale made sure that the classroom carpet was checked for latex and thoroughly cleaned. The teacher explained that he moved the appropriate furniture, took the rug, and cleaned underneath it. He is customer service oriented and is always willing to help out. In the office, Dale assists vendors and even drops off deliveries to classrooms. As you can see, Forest is thankful to have its "Johnny."
Nine years ago, Associate Superintendent Paul Hertel was hired by Community Consolidated School District 62 to join the senior leadership team as the Director of Human Resources. He had no district office experience, but had great potential. Paul exceeded expectations to the point that he was promoted to Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources, followed three years later by a promotion to Associate Superintendent. When Mr. Hertel joined District 62, he faced the challenge of filling a position that had been vacant for a considerable period of time. There were many processes that needed to be updated and improved. His leadership and hard work have resulted in our district being able to recruit skilled professionals to join the District 62 family. His expectations for excellence, and his forward-thinking process for hiring new staff, have resulted in a highly competent and effective workforce. Paul Hertel has been a tremendous asset to our students and our community. Hertel was honored with a Those Who Excel Award in the Administrator Category.
Karen Lucas, Central Elementary School, is an outstanding educator who believes in every student that enters her classroom and heart. She has a positive and motivating attitude towards all of her students, and all of her students adore her. That positive attitude creates a safe environment where the students feel self-assured to take chances and risks to learn. It is crucial to have this type of environment when you are working with such precious and vulnerable students. Not only does Karen Lucas possess the characteristics and values that her students can look up to and learn from, she is also an expert in educational pedagogy.
Lucas is consistently advancing her education and developing professionally. She has obtained her English Language Endorsement, a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction, and enhances her classroom with endless technology projects and instructional strategies she’s been trained in. She helps motivate and instruct teachers on Smartboard lessons, Tyler Grade book, Tyler Report cards, Twitter, and new ways to use technology in the classroom. She is always willing to help and share the best practices that she is implementing in her classroom. Karen is a real team player. Other teachers can always depend on her to share her latest creative lessons or lend a helping hand when troubleshooting is needed. Lucas was honored with a Those Who Excel Award in the Educator Category.
Tabitha Lueken, Chippewa Middle School, was recognized with a Those Who Excel Award in the Early Career Educator Category. Teaching has been a part of her life since she was young. Her mother’s first teachings were to finish high school and college, so that she could have a successful career and care for hers self. Her mother drives so much of her. She was the one to raise her and be her voice. As a fourth year teacher at Chippewa, she has had the opportunity to have a voice in several committees. Each of these committees has provided Lueken insight to the many dimensions to teaching other than the classroom setting.
When Lueken started her first year at Chippewa Middle School, she was invited to be a part of the PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support) Committee, which she is still a part of today. Leuken was honored to be a part of a committee that sets guidelines and positively influences middle school students to be the best they can be in every setting. As a committee, they plan quarterly celebrations for students that reward the positive behaviors displayed in school. In addition, the committee structures and implements reward systems for students who show respectful, safe, and responsible behaviors in the school setting. Like most committees at school, PBIS has a positive influence on the students and staff.
Additionally, Lueken has served on the school’s anti-bullying committee, Characters In Action (CIA). Committee members design curriculum for grade levels. In addition, the committee reflects on past lessons and restructures lessons to make it meaningful and authentic for students in each grade level.
The Instructional Services/Second Language Department Administrative Assistant Team keeps so many plates spinning that it is impossible to count. Whether the need is assessments, curriculum, materials, Title I and III, professional development, CPDU forms, school choice, SES, missing ISAT rulers, summer school registration and bussing, scheduling translation, setting up Parent Advisory Council (PAC) meetings, and even babysitting a few little ones, the team of Laura Morales, Florentina Marchisotto and Sylvia Roe-Team IS-can and will meet it. Team IS was honored with a Those Who Excel in the Team Category.
Laura Morales’ responsibilities continue to expand. Each time duties are added she works on her own to learn the new requirements and expectations and rises to the occasion. Laura is responsible for all activities related to NCLB accountability. A few years ago that meant creating and sending ISAT parent letters. Now, it means all of the letters, applications, and documents for School Choice and Supplemental Educational Services, along with ISAT, PARCC and Title I and II. The paperwork and regulations surrounding NCLB are never ending. Laura manages those documents with efficiency and with great care to detail.
Do you want your office to run like a “tight ship?” If so, Sylvia Roe is your captain. Sylvia goes above and beyond the call of duty to make everyone’s life easier. If Sylvia knows that copies are needed for a workshop, she volunteers to make them before she is asked. Sylvia always offers a helping hand. When Instructional Services is expecting guests, Sylvia willingly stays later to greet them. She has the coffee ready, water cold, and soda in the refrigerator- the guests feel welcome. Often room reservations need to be made for meetings and after hour workshops. The department counts on Sylvia to arrange everything. In addition, the minutes she takes are superb, recounting every detail that was discussed. Sylvia also orders all supplies. We never run short. Other secretaries think highly of Sylvia because she helps them with Destiny, a book ordering system.
In every department there is always a person who is the “glue” that makes things run smoothly. They keep channels of communication flowing and elevate standards of excellence. This person goes above and beyond assigned responsibilities and pitches in to support staff and parents in any situation that arises. This person has a positive attitude and tackles issues in a positive manner. They are the point of contact and are always ready to answer questions or seek out individuals that have the answers. For the Second Language Department, that person is Florentina Marchisotto. Some of her responsibilities include updating the ELL monthly enrollment count, reviewing the Title III budget, assigning translators as needed for all schools in the district, setting up meetings and coordinating staff for the many strands of services provided within the department (Bilingual Parent Advisory Council, ELL Facilitators, ELL PD, Spanish high school recommendations, Parent Summit, the Bilingual Job Fair, etc.) She is an integral part in preparing all the documents for the Illinois State Compliance visit. She learned the intricate Tyler system to meet the accountability demands of the ELL department. As the needs of the department increase, her workload increased. She is a consummate professional and gives 110%.
District 62 nominees were selected from the 2014 District 62 Lighthouse Awards, which were held in April. Community members, colleagues, parents, and students supported them through the rigorous “Those Who Excel” process.
For more information, please contact MeLinda Ward, Director of Community Relations, (847) 824-8070.