'Those Who Excel' honors presented to District 153 staff, supporters

Community members, administrators and staff in Homewood School District 153 were selected as 2019 winners of the “Those Who Excel” award presented by the Illinois State Board of Education.
 
The ISBE recognized them at an Oct. 19 banquet. The awards honor those affiliated with the district who made outstanding contributions to the schools and district students.
  Scott McAlister, principal of Hart School, congratulated
John Beele, right, who received honors for his work
in District 153 representing the Burns VFW Post.

 (Provided photos)
 

John Beele, commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8077 in Homewood, received the Community Volunteer-Award of Merit. He has been involved in the schools for many years. During District 153 commencement ceremonies, Beele recognizes a graduate’s honor, courage and leadership as he presents the winner with the VFW Wally Burns Award. 

 
Valerie Burr, a speech language pathologist at Hart and Churchill Schools, was presented the Student Support Personnel Award of Recognition for her role as an advocate for the children she services and interactions as a liaison for parents, as well as her role as a leader among the staff.
John Gibson, left, chief schools business official in District 153, proudly displays his Those Who Excel honor. He is with Scott McAlister, principal of James Hart School.
  John Gibson, left, chief schools business official in
District 153, proudly displays his Those Who Excel
honor. He is with Scott McAlister, principal of
James Hart School.

 

John Gibson, the district’s chief school business official, received the Award of Merit in the Administrator Category for his relentless work ethic and ability to balance fiscal responsibility with ever-increasing student needs.

Lynn Liptak, who was honored for her work in the food services area at Hart School, is congratulated by Principal Scott McAlister.
Lynn Liptak, who was honored for her work in the
food services area at Hart School, is congratulated
by Principal Scott McAlister.
 
 

Lynn Liptak, who works in food services at Hart School, received an Award of Recognition in the Educational Service Personnel Category. Through her work she shows that she cares for the students and their nutrition as she goes about preparing the meals. And, according to the nomination, when the salad bar she staffs is open, it’s a hub of positive energy for students and staff.

Churchill School Principal Nikki Kerr, left, congratulates Michele Davis who was honored for her work as a fifth grade teacher.
  Churchill School Principal Nikki Kerr, left,
congratulates Michele Davis who was honored
for her work as a fifth-grade teacher.

 

Michele Davis, a fifth grade teacher at Churchill School, received the Award of Recognition in the Classroom Teacher Category for her ability to seemingly know what her students need, and fulfill those needs consistently through a structured and positive direction.

Willow School kindergarten teacher Joe Rusk received a Those Who Excel honor. He attended the banquet with his wife, Kelsey.
Willow School kindergarten teacher Joe Rusk
received a Those Who Excel honor. He
attended the banquet with his wife, Kelsey.

Joe Rusk, a kindergarten teacher at Willow School, was presented an Award of Recognition in the Early Career Educator Category. His nomination notes that he makes learning fun and gets results from his students, and that he uses an honest approach in the classroom.

Jessica Lopez, left, and Julie Holly accepted a Those Who Excel Award of Merit on behalf of the District 153 Parent Music Association.
Jessica Lopez, left, and Julie Holly accepted a
Those Who Excel Award of Merit on behalf
of the District 153 Parent Music Association. 

The Award of Merit in the Team Category was presented to the Parent Music Association. In the nomination, the organization was recognized not only as a band and choir booster but also for its “big picture” view of music education extending it from pre-kindergarten through eighth grade.

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