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District 202 Board of Education to honor 21 educators, staff, community members

Plainfield -- The District 202 Board of Education will honor 21 exceptional educational staff and community members at its 31st annual Awards of Excellence Ceremony at 7 p.m. Monday, May 15, 2023.

The event is open to the community and will be held in the auditorium at Plainfield East High School, 12001 S. Naperville Road, Plainfield.

The Awards of Excellence honors teachers and non-administrative staff who have significantly impacted their students, schools, and the community. The Board will present 17 Awards of Excellence to district staff this year.

A committee of three Board members and the Board’s two community ambassadors picks the Awards of Excellence winners from nominations from students, staff, and parents. The Board has honored more than 500 individuals since the Award’s inception in 1993.

“The Board of Education is very proud of all of our staff and the tremendous work they do every day, every year, to serve our students and families,” said Board of Education Vice President Rod Westfall, chairperson of the Board’s recognition committee.

Lakewood Falls Elementary School Social Worker Mariah Zwart will receive the 8th annual Cheryl Ricciardi Exceptional Student Service Award.

The Board also will present Joette Doyle with the Richard Ira Jones and Greg Nichols with the Elizabeth “Bess” Eichelberger awards to recognize their significant service to District 202 and the community.

District 202 Director of Community Relations Tom Hernandez received the Dr. Lane Abrell Administrator Award.


The 2023 Awards of Excellence winners are:

  • Sandy Bressers – District 202 Director of Transportation
  • Anthony Carlson – John F. Kennedy Middle School LBS1 resource teacher
  • Leigh Castle – Drauden Point Middle School social studies/ELL teacher
  • Kristin Drake – Plainfield North High School physical education teacher
  • Jodie Gammon – Ridge Elementary School BASES program teacher
  • Teralyn Hall -- Drauden Point physical education teacher
  • Kelly Hinthorn – Charles Reed Elementary School social worker
  • Susan Hug – Wallin Oaks Elementary School StarPlus teacher
  • Regina Kleckauskas – District 202 Coordinator Special Education Transportation
  • Kelly Larson – District 202 Community Relations Coordinator
  • Patty McNamara – Bonnie Mc Beth Learning Center preschool teacher at Wallin Oaks
  • Andrea Medina – Ira Jones Middle School seventh-grade language arts teacher
  • Christine Molek – Bonnie McBeth Learning Center Speech/Language Pathologist
  • Christine Penney – Walker’s Grove Elementary School first-grade teacher
  • Amber Simonic – Drauden Point eighth-grade science teacher
  • Linda Taylor – District 202 Assistant Director of Community Relations
  • Jennifer Wedic – Drauden Point eighth-grade math/algebra teacher

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