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District 158 staffers receive ‘Those Who Excel’ awards at state banquet

LANSING, Ill. (August 16, 2022) – Six District 158 faculty and staff members attended a banquet hosted by the Illinois State Board of Education to receive awards for their “meritorious service.”

The banquet, which took place on August 6, was part of the “Those Who Excel” program put on by the Illinois State Board of Education. According to isbe.net, “Those Who Excel” awards are given annually to “to honor individuals who have made​​ significant contributions to our state’s public and nonpublic elementary and secondary schools.”

This year, there were 1,317 award recipients from across the state.

Awardees from District 158

Those who attended the banquet and won awards are:

  • Jennifer Neibert, Coolidge Reading Specialist – Award of Meritorious Service for Student Support Personnel
  • James Ferguson, Oak Glen Paraprofessional – Award of Meritorious Service for Educational Service Personnel
  • District 158 Kindergarten Team
    • Jillian Grimmer, Coolidge Kindergarten Teacher – Award of Meritorious Service for Educational Team
    • Jamie Gifford, Coolidge Kindergarten Teacher – Award of Meritorious Service for Educational Team
    • Stacy Mota, Reavis Kindergarten Teacher – Award of Meritorious Service for Educational Team
    • Alicia Hughey, Reavis Kindergarten Teacher – Award of Meritorious Service for Educational Team
excel
This certification was given to the District 158 Kindergarten team for meritorious service. (Photo provided)

District 158 also notched two additional honors:

  • Roberto Paredes, Reavis Assistant Principal – Award of Meritorious Service for Administrator
  • Philip S. France, Senior Pastor at Living Grace Church in Lynwood – Award of Meritorious Service for Community Volunteer

At the event, Dr. Carmen Ayala, State Superintendent of Education, handed out the awards, and Governor JB Pritzker was featured as a guest speaker.

Josh Bootsma
Josh Bootsma
Josh is Managing Editor at The Lansing Journal and believes in the power and purpose of community news. He covers any local topics—from village government to theatre, from business openings to migratory birds.