Public education advocates from throughout the state were honored for their support of their local schools and districts during the Illinois Chapter of the National School Public Relations Association’s (INSPRA) annual Distinguished Service Awards luncheon on May 13, 2022 at Bolingbrook Golf Club.

The Distinguished Service Awards recognize those who make a difference in their school communities by helping to promote public education and enhance its programs and services. Nominees are evaluated on their ability to support or improve understanding and communication in the school/district; foster cooperative partnerships between the school and community; and strengthen the overall support for education by stakeholders. 

More than 40 individuals and teams were recognized in the categories of Administrator, Board of Education Member, Community Member, Faculty/Certified Staff Member, Parent, Support Staff Member, and Team. School communicators from across the country judged the entries against a criteria of excellence, and only those receiving top scores received awards. Winning nominations either received an award of merit, or for those receiving the highest evaluations, an award of excellence. The list of award recipients is posted on the INSPRA website (http://www.inspra.org).

“The Distinguished Service Awards is an opportunity to honor those deserving individuals who passionately advocate for public education in our state,” said INSPRA President Alex Mayster, APR, Executive Director of Communications for Naperville 203. “These individuals work tirelessly to highlight the successes of public schools. They understand the importance of building a strong public relations program that provides all members of the school community the opportunity to promote excellence and be champions of students and employees.”

The mission of INSPRA is to provide a source of connection, collaboration, and professional development for school communicators in order to strengthen support for Illinois public schools, which leads to greater student success. Workshops and programs take place throughout the year, providing opportunities for members to learn and grow in their craft. The Distinguished Service Awards luncheon is a highlight of the year and is attended by communications professionals, superintendents, board of education members and other school leaders.

To learn more about INSPRA, visit www.inspra.org or visit the INSPRA pages on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

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Award Winners

Arlington Heights School District 25

  • Tom Riesing, Community Member, Award of Excellence

Bensenville Park District

  • Joe Vallez, Community Member, Award of Excellence

Community High School District 128

  • Amy Belstra, Becki Bellito, Sara Cardinale, Rianna Weil, Kelly Redig; Team, Award of Excellence

Community HIgh School District 99

  • Ed Schwartz, Administrator, Award of Excellence
  • Terry Pavesich, Board of Education Member, Award of Excellence
  • Diane Richard, Community Member, Award of Excellence
  • Jade Toledano and Scarlett O'Hara, Team, Award of Excellence

Crystal Lake Elementary District 47

  • Monica Petersen, Administrator, Award of Excellence

 

Deerfield Public Schools District 109

  • DPS 109 Student Services/Contact Tracing Team, Team, Award of Excellence

 

DuPage High School District 88

  • Eric Veal Jr., Student, Award of Excellence
  • Student News Channel Team, Team, Award of Excellence

Fenton Community High School District 100

  • Matthew Lynch, Faculty/Licensed Staff, Award of Excellence
  • Fenton Counselors, Team, Award of Excellence

Glenview School District 34

  • Mary Geraghty, Administrator, Award of Excellence
  • Sylvia Górski Duarte, Faculty/Licensed Staff, Award of Excellence
  • D34 ParentConnect & Family Service Center, Team, Award of Excellence

High School District 230

  • Jeff Keane, Faculty/Licensed Staff, Award of Excellence
  • Rhys McIntyre, Support Staff, Award of Excellence
  • Scott Anthony and Terri Nelson, Team, Award of Merit

Joliet Township High School District 204

  • National Hook Up of Black Women Inc., Joliet Chapter, Team, Award of Excellence

Lombard District 44

  • James Robinette, Board of Education Member, Award of Excellence
  • Members of the Well-Being Action Team, Team, Award of Merit

McHenry HS District 156

  • Administrator, Administrator, Award of Excellence

McHenry School District 15

  • Josh Reitz, Administrator, Award of Excellence
  • Josh Reitz, Fred Laudadio, Jen Tossey, Lois Zalewski, Cindee Nootbaar; Team, Award of Excellence

Naperville 203

  • Sheri Hey, Faculty/Licensed Staff, Award of Excellence
  • Emily Kozlowski, Parent, Award of Excellence
  • Cindy LaBorn, Administrator, Award of Merit

Orland School District 135

  • Allison Kaleta, Support Staff, Award of Excellence

Palos 118

  • Meagan Doornbos, Administrator, Award of Excellence

Plainfield Community Consolidated District 202

  • Rod Westfall, Board of Education Member, Award of Excellence
  • Mina Griffith, Administrator, Award of Merit

School District 54

  • Sheila McGreevy, Support Staff, Award of Excellence
  • District 54 Chinese Immersion Team, Team, Award of Excellence
  • Beth Knief, Faculty/Licensed Staff, Award of Merit

School District U-46 

  • Jeff Judge and Caitlyn Van Dame, Team, Award of Excellence

SPEED S.E.J.A. District 802

  • Anna Calhoun, Team

Troy Community School District 30-C

  • Melissa Lundy, Amy Giefer, Kimberly Rothstein, Tara Minogue, Josefa Lopez; Team, Award of Merit

Valley View School District 365U

  • Rachel Kinder, Administrator, Award of Excellence

Woodland D50

  • Stacey Anderson, Administrator, Award of Excellence