District 200 staff, volunteer honored as 'Those Who Excel'
Seven Woodstock Community Unit School District 200 employees and one volunteer were honored Saturday, Oct. 19 by the Illinois State Board of Education at its 2019 Those Who Excel banquet in Normal.
Those honored included classroom teachers, a high school counselor, a support service employee, a team of principals and a local business leader who works with students in the INCubatoredu program.
“We’re always proud of the hundreds of employees who make District 200 an exceptional place to learn, but it’s an honor to have these outstanding members of our team recognized by the state board,” District 200 Superintendent Mike Moan said.
The Those Who Excel program recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to their schools and communities. This year, more than 250 educators were recognized by a committee of statewide educators and former award winners.
Deborah Guild was recognized by the ISBE for her exceptional work as a Spanish teacher and World Languages Department Chair at Woodstock North High School.
Woodstock North Principal Darlea Livengood said Guild has consistently been a student favorite since she moved from Woodstock High School to Woodstock North High School when the school first opened.
“Mrs. Guild has an exceptional gift in the classroom. When anyone goes into her classroom, they come out believing they can speak Spanish — even after only one lesson,” Livengood said. “She makes students feel comfortable, and she builds relationships with every student she serves.”
Lauren Boyd, a fourth-grade dual language teacher at Westwood Elementary School, was honored with Meritorious recognition for her designation as an early career educator.
Westwood Principal Ryan Hart nominated Boyd for the early educator award based on her teaching skills and remarkable compassion for her students.
“She uses her energy and enthusiasm for coming up with new and creative ways to teach and connect with her students’ interests and then takes the appropriate initiative to put these ideas into practice,” Hart said. “She is incredibly positive with her students and has an innate ability to instill in her students the idea that they can accomplish anything.”
Jessica Telander was also honored with a Meritorious designation for her work counseling students at Woodstock North High School following Livengood’s nomination.
“It is difficult to describe the effect that Mrs. Telander has on our school. Within her counseling role alone, she never turns away any student who needs anything,” Livengood said. “ She will come early, stay late, and go far beyond the normal scope of a day if any student needs help.”
Lisa Adams was also recognized for her work supporting District 200’s Teaching & Learning Department. Keely Krueger, assistant superintendent for early childhood and elementary education, noted Adams’s support for seven school buildings, help with grant writing, securing transportation for homeless students, managing budgets and countless other duties.
“Lisa skillfully fields questions and provides detailed information for families, coworkers and other members of the school administration,” Krueger said. “She has really made a difference in the lives of many students and families in our organization.”
Three principals were also recognized for their efforts with a Community Campus Connections endeavor — an effort to build relationships with student and family populations in economically disadvantaged areas of District 200 by bringing events and services directly into those communities.
Superintendent Mike Moan nominated Tricia Bogott, principal of Verda Dierzen Early Learning Center, Bethany Hall, principal of Northwood Middle School and Keri Pala, principal of Mary Endres Elementary School for the ISBE team recognition.
“These events were steps in the right direction to meet families literally where they live and then build off of that to provide positive experiences for them at school.” Moan said. “These positive experiences are building blocks to a long-term productive and reciprocal relationship between our schools and our families.”
Jackie Speciale, a senior manager at MAC Automation Concepts, was designated by the ISBE as a Meritorious Community Volunteer. Speciale volunteers all over the community and the world with the American Red Cross, but she was recognized for her work with the INCubatoredu class at Woodstock High School.
“Jackie uses her knowledge and resources as a local manufacturing leader to give students opportunities to see and truly live the life they want to pursue after graduation,” Moan said. “Jackie is there every step of the way to allow students to feel and experience what the real world has to offer.”