‘Those Who Excel’ honors presented to District 153 staff and volunteer Richard Thiernau

  Homewood School District 153 was well represented
  at the "Those Who Excel" awards presentation Oct. 28.
  Recipients are, front row from left, Nicko Sims, Liz
  Binnendyk, Tim Noe and Beth White; back row from
  left, Tanya Thomas, Rick Thiernau, Alison Lincoln,
  Bob Dippold, Dale Mitchell, Megan Scislowicz and
  James Cassidy.
(Provided photo)
 
Twelve staff members and a community volunteer in Homewood District 153 were honored at the 2017 Illinois State Board of Education’s “Those Who Excel” educator recognition program awards ceremony Oct. 28.
 
The honorees were nominated for these honors by District 153 staff. The awards are given in recognition of those who have made outstanding contributions to elementary and secondary education in Illinois. The program was held in Normal, Ill.
 
Elizabeth Binnendyk, a sixth grade teacher at James Hart School, received the Award of Excellence in the early career educator category.  In the nomination, Binnendyk was recognized as a talented and dedicated teacher who in just five years in the profession is an outstanding teacher. 
 
“Elizabeth has proven herself to be a master educator, and I know she will continue to impact thousands of students over her career,” the nomination read.
 
Seven members of the district’s technology team won an Award of Recognition in the team category.  James Cassidy, Jacob Condon, Bob Dippold, Sametta Gardner, Tim Noe, Nicko Sims, Beth White were nominated for being kind, prompt and knowledgeable staff members who exceed expectations on a daily basis. 

“Teachers, staff and students know they can count on understanding, patient support with a sense of humor whenever they run into problems,” according to the nomination.
 
Alison Lincoln, a fifth grade teacher at Churchill School, won an Award of Merit in the classroom teacher category. She was nominated for “inherently understanding the need for relationships as the basis for significant learning and progress.” Through these personal connections, Lincoln is able to help students through their struggles and celebrate their successes.
 
Superintendent Dale Mitchell was honored with an Award of Excellence in the school administrator category. He was nominated by his former colleagues and now retired principals Mary Ann Savage and Cece Coffey.
 
“It is clear that the relationships Dale values are the bedrock of his success,” the told the nominating committee. “He is able to create and maintain these relationships because at this core, Dale has a deep and abiding respect and care for the people around him. His compassion and dedication to his staff, board, students and community shine through every interaction, every decision.”
 
Megan Scislowicz, the speech pathologist at Churchill School, earned an Award of Merit in the student support personnel category. According to the nomination: “Megan delivers impeccable speech services in her role. She is able to maximize on a student’s strengths to help them gain confidence which in turn impacts classroom performance as well as everyday life. “
 
Tanya Thomas, Churchill School special education assistant, was presented the Award of Recognition in the educational services personnel category. Her nomination read: “She is the liaison between the regular education and special education classroom, providing the academic and behavioral support her students need to be successful each day. She approaches this work with a deep love and commitment to her students and her colleagues.”
 
In the community volunteer category, Richard Thiernau received the Award of Excellence. The district staff nominated him for his continued commitment to Homewood Rotary and his sharing that commitment with District 153 students.
 
“As a life-long Rotarian, he lives and breathes the Rotary’s motto of ‘service above self' and makes decisions based on the Rotary’s 4-Way Test, demonstrating this to all the students, families and community members in Homewood,” according to the nomination. 
 
Thiernau was instrumental in helping the district start its Early Act and Interact Clubs that are reinforcing the values of volunteerism and helping others with students.

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