INSPRA recognizes public education ambassadors during Distinguished Service Awards

Public education advocates from throughout the state were honored for their support of their local schools and districts as part of the Illinois Chapter of the National School Public Relations Association’s (INSPRA) annual Distinguished Service Awards.

The Distinguished Service Awards recognize those who make a difference in their school communities by helping to promote public education and enhance its programs and services. Nominees are evaluated on their ability to support or improve understanding and communication in the school/district; foster cooperative partnerships between the school and community; and strengthen the overall support for education by stakeholders. 

Fifty-one individuals and teams were recognized in the categories of Administrator, Board of Education Member, Community Member, Faculty/Certified Staff Member, Parent, Support Staff Member, and Team. School communicators from 13 states judged the entries against a criteria of excellence, and only those receiving top scores received awards. Winning nominations either received an award of merit, or for those receiving the highest evaluations, an award of excellence. 

“The Distinguished Service Awards is an opportunity to honor those deserving individuals who passionately advocate for public education in our state,” said INSPRA President Kristine Liptrot, APR, director of communications and community engagement in Yorkville CUSD 115. “These individuals work tirelessly to highlight the successes of public schools. They understand the importance of building a strong public relations program that provides all members of the school community the opportunity to promote excellence and be champions of students and employees.”

The mission of INSPRA is to provide a source of connection, collaboration, and professional development for school communicators in order to strengthen support for Illinois public schools, which leads to greater student success. Workshops and programs take place throughout the year, providing opportunities for members to learn and grow in their craft. The Distinguished Service Awards luncheon is a highlight of the year and is attended by communications professionals, superintendents, board of education members and other school leaders.


 

Award Winners

Bremen High School District 228
Board of Education Member Kristine Resler, Award of Excellence
Administrator Renee Mack, Award of Excellence
Faculty/Certified Staff Member Michael Lynch, Award of Excellence
Community Member Ryan Gulli, Award of Excellence
Student Michael Dudek, Award of Merit
Team Members Jim Matlon and Greg Slade, Award of Merit

Calumet Public School District 132
Team Member Dr. Elizabeth H. Reynolds, Award of Excellence

Community Consolidated School District 62
Team Members Sally Fortier and Jana Haas, Award of Merit

Community Unit School District 303
Support Staff Member Lynne Schwartz, Award of Excellence

Crystal Lake Elementary District 47
Administrator Tommy Chanthasene, Award of Excellence
Faculty/Certified Staff Member Katie Martin, Award of Merit 
Team Members Dave Jenkins and Denise Barr, Award of Merit 

DuPage High School District 88
Team Members The Addison Workforce Development Committee and Project Hire-Ed, Award of Merit 

Evergreen Park Community High School
Student Nolan Rahm, Award of Excellence

Evergreen Park Community High School District 231
Administrator Amy Kazin, Award of Excellence
Support Staff Member Carol McCormick, Award of Merit 

Evergreen Park School District 124
Administrator Kathleen Prado, Award of Merit
Board of Education Member Kim Leonard, Award of Excellence 
Support Staff Member Jan Stanton, Award of Excellence

Fenton Community High School District 100
Support Staff Member Jeff Leist, Award of Excellence
Student Stevieanna Pace, Award of Excellence
Parent Maria Millard, Award of Merit
Team Members Portrait of a Graduate Team, Award of Merit

Glenbard Township High School District 87
Administrator Rebecca Sulaver, Award of Merit

Glenview Public Schools District 34
Team Members District 34 Citizens Finance Advisory Committee, Award of Merit

J. Sterling Morton HSD 201
Team Members Parent Liaisons, Award of Merit

Joliet Public Schools District 86
Team Member Sandy Zalewski, Award of Merit

Joliet Township High School
Team Members Dick and Mille Schuster, Award of Excellence

Joliet Township High School 204
Community Member Minister Mary White, Award of Excellence 

Lake Park High School District 108
Administrator Dr. Lynn Panega, Award of Excellence

Lincolnwood School District 74
Team Members Communications Task Force, Elaina Geraghty & Rupal Mandal, Award of Excellence

Lombard District 44
Team Members Sharon Sliwa, Frank Ferrara, Neil Perry, Mark Kunberger, Scott Stehlik, Brett Sharkey, Allie Hahn, Award of Merit

Maine Township High School District 207
Team Members Maine South Communications Team, Award of Excellence

Morton Grove District 70
Administrator Matt Condon, Award of Excellence

Orland School District 135
Faculty/Certified Staff Member Carita Hall, Award of Excellence
Administrator Jen Nichols, Award of Excellence
Team Members Kristin Beeler and Kristy Gilbert, Award of Excellence

Plainfield Community Consolidated School District 202
Student Kaden Dolbee, Award of Excellence
Parent Betsey Vinson, Award of Excellence

Schaumburg School District 54
Parent Pilar Vences, Award of Excellence
Team Members Kathy King and Suzanne Bekielewski, Award of Merit

School District 54
Student Raheela Nayeem, Award of Excellence

School District U-46 
Community Member Bud Wilson, Award of Merit

Troy Community School District 30-C
Board of Education Member Sabrina Price, Award of Excellence

West Chicago Elementary School District 33
Team Members Ciara Thomas, Sarah Norton, and Kathy Niedorowski, Award of Excellence
Team Members Angie Nieto, Crystal DeLaHuerta and Liz Soto, Award of Merit

Yorkville CUSD 115
Parent Anthony Hansen, Award of Excellence