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D158 honors ‘unsung hero’ Donna Gill with first-ever ABCDE Award

“Above and Beyond the Call of Duty Every day”

By Josh Bootsma

Our source material for this story listed an incorrect spelling of the award recipient’s name. We have updated the article with what we believe is the correct spelling. We apologize for the error.

LANSING, Ill. (November 8, 2022) – Donna Gill has supported Coolidge Elementary School for over 20 years, and was awarded for her dedication to the school in October, receiving District 158’s first-ever “Above and Beyond the Call of Duty Every Day” Award.

The ABCDE Award is a new D158 initiative that will be awarded each quarter to “celebrate the Lansing community, its outstanding citizens, and unsung heroes of our District,” according to the District 158 website. The award will be given to individuals who demonstrate the values of compassion, inspiration, respect, achievement, and communication.

Donna Gill

Donna Gill
Gill receives her award from D158 Board President Mary Kelly. (Photo provided)

Donna Gill started volunteering at Coolidge Elementary when her two daughters attended school there. When her daughters moved on, Gill did not, continuing to serve the school by working in the kitchen, eventually becoming the kitchen co-manager. She has worked as a lunchroom supervisor, crossing guard, and bus supervisor, and has also frequently lent a hand in the school office.

Gill is also an ardent supporter of Coolidge athletics. “Mrs. Gill is seen at almost all basketball games with Coolidge spirit wear from head-to-toe cheering for the Coolidge students,” said a school-provided bio about Gill, who was also featured as Cal the Cougar on the Coolidge float at the Lansing Good Neighbor Day Parade in May.

“Mrs. Gill continues to make Coolidge School and the community of Lansing a better place. We are extremely thankful for her dedication and commitment to Coolidge School and Lansing,” the bio said.

Donna Gill
Donna Gill played the role of Cal the Cougar on the Coolidge float in the Good Neighbor Day Parade this year. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)


District 158 is encouraging the local community to nominate someone who has “gone above and beyond” for its ABCDE Awards in future quarters. To nominate, visit the ABCDE Award page on District 158’s website.


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.