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'Difference Makers' honored by district

Woodstock Community School District 200 began a new tradition to honor exceptional employees and volunteers as it closes out the 2021-2022 school year by presenting 27 Difference Maker Awards to individuals whose efforts were recognized by their peers.

Employees at all 12 schools were asked to nominate colleagues for Difference Maker Awards — one certified staff member, such as teachers or social workers and one non-certified staff member such as office staff or associates among others. Nominees were then reviewed by a committee.

Superintendent Mike Moan said District 200 is blessed with hundreds of outstanding employees who put children first, but said it was a valuable exercise to ask staff members to lift up co-workers who led by example in their school buildings and to recognize those individuals.

“Education is best delivered by people who not only have a high skill set, but demonstrate how much they care day in, day out,” Moan said. “These award winners represent those qualities, which is what makes District 200 a special place to be.”

Moan said educators are fortunate to have a real opportunity to make a difference in children’s lives and leave a lasting positive impact on those children and the overall community.

Difference Maker winners were honored Tuesday, May 17 at Woodstock North High School. District administrative staff cooked and served honorees and their families along with administrative representatives from each school. Several District 200 Board of Education members also attended.

“As we celebrate the end of the year, this was a great  moment for the District 200 community to celebrate these individuals whom we all admire,” Moan said.

The 2022 Difference Maker Award winners are as follows:

D200 Difference Makers Award

Verda Dierzen

Alyssa DiGuido - pre-K teacher

Ryan Logsdon - head custodian

Dean Street

Raul Medina - 2nd grade DL teacher

Lauren Kleinjan - LRC associate

Mary Endres

Kristen Sauber - instructional coach

Cora Schroeder - head custodian


Jodie Marlay - 3rd grade teacher

Don Goers - head custodian


Mary Stewart - special ed teacher

Carrie Jarnecke - special ed  associate


Chuck Jones - art teacher 

Tracy Lightcap - special ed associate


Amy Blalock - 2nd grade teacher

Kerry Hughes - LRC associate


Amy Zeh - social worker

Lisa Furst - principal’s secretary


Maria Gonzalez - DL Literacy teacher

Laura Norberte - special ed associate


Melanie Meyers - 6th grade teacher

Brittany Hinderlider - LRC associate

Woodstock North

Kari Aldridge - special ed teacher 

Marie Durbin - special ed associate

Woodstock High

Shannon Landwehr - counselor

Jack Darby - supervisory associate

District 200 Volunteer

Tom Burg  - Challenger Center

Kim Sites - music programs

District Representative

Melinda Schuldt - speech pathologist   

Group shot of Difference Maker Award recipients