Making MyD97 Better Award: Tim McDonald

Tim McDonaldLast trimester, we introduced our new "Making MyD97 Better" Award, which recognizes staff, students, parents and community members who are making District 97 a better place for all. We will choose a winner each month, and share their stories through our newsletters, website and social media pages.

We are proud to announce our "Making MyD97 Better" winner for February 2020: Tim McDonald, District 97's adapted physical education teacher.

In his role as an adapted physical education teacher and Special Olympics coach, Tim has spent the past 10 years working with children from all 10 of our schools who have physical or developmental disabilities. His dedication and hard work have helped his students grow, excel and feel more included in school activities. Last year, he collaborated with a Brooks Middle School design teacher and students from the MakerSpace Club to create a device that would help a student at Mann independently participate in P.E. class alongside her peers.

Additionally, thanks in part to Tim's leadership, the Special Olympics program in Oak Park has grown to be one of the largest in the state. He also plays a vital role in organizing the district's participation in the Special Olympics Polar Plunge, raising more than $26,000 this year alone.

Making MyD97 Better

District 97 grandparent Don Pickard acknowledged Tim's ability to connect with students and parents alike.

"He is very creative in developing ways to motivate and entertain all special needs children, including my granddaughter who is in a wheelchair," Pickard said. "His efforts help make District 97 a recognized leader in diversity and programming for children with special needs."

Check out the short video we made for Tim by clicking the box below, or by visiting

Making My D97 Better logoDo you know someone—a teacher, staff member, parent, student or community member—who is helping to make D97 a better place for all? CLICK HERE to share their story and nominate them for a "Making MyD97 Better" Award!