District 97 Announces Final Nominees for the 2018-19 Those Who Excel Awards

Thank you to everyone who submitted a nomination for the 2018-19 Those Who Excel Awards. While everyone who was nominated has had a profound and lasting impact on our schools and the children we serve, we are only allowed to submit one entry per category. With this in mind, the administration reviewed all of the nominations it received, and selected the individuals below to represent the district in the categories of classroom teacher, student support personnel, educational service personnel and school administrator. 

Congratulations again to all of our nominees. The nomination packets, which can be accessed by visiting https://www.isbe.net/Documents/03-10-those-who-excel.pdf, must be postmarked no later than June 4, 2018 or submitted via email by close of business on June 7, 2018. 

Classroom Teacher
Dawn Deaton, elementary world language teacher from Whittier Elementary School – “Dawn celebrates and nurtures every learner. She draws upon their backgrounds to inspire and drive her curriculum. She is also passionate about how languages and cultures can be used to help students develop into global citizens.”

Student Support Personnel
Monica Collins, social worker from Mann Elementary School – “While youth anxiety and depression are on the rise nationally, Mann is already positioned to meet these growing mental health needs because Ms. Collins is in the building every day navigating these issues with great knowledge and grace.”


Educational Service Personnel
Joy Hudson, teaching assistant from Longfellow Elementary School –  “Joy goes out of her way on a daily basis to make sure her students are cared for and included in all elements of class. She is proud of every student, celebrates their accomplishments and supports them with an open heart. The joy I see in her when she is helping students inspires me to be a better teacher.”


School Administrator
April Capuder, principal from Brooks Middle School – “Ms. Capuder embodies the characteristics of a true leader and role model for all. She is an excellent communicator and is highly organized, which keeps our school running efficiently and safely. She is also a fair and caring person who leads with an open ear, a kind heart and a level head.”