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The DeKalb County Community Foundation and DeKalb County Regional Office of Education recognized five educators from Hiawatha and Somonauk school districts during the annual Excellence in Education award reception at Kishwaukee College. Recipients were chosen by an independent selection committee out of nineteen nominees from six school districts in DeKalb County.

The Excellence in Education Awards were established in 1999 by retired Sycamore elementary school teacher, Yvonne Johnson, with an endowment fund at the DeKalb County Community Foundation. The program recognizes respected teachers, administrators, and support staff who have inspired a love of learning in students and are admired for playing an active role in their schools and communities in DeKalb County. Winners receive $1,000, an engraved clock and medallion.

Amanda Christensen, DeKalb County Regional Superintendent, presented during the reception. She praised all teachers. “Teachers change the world one child at a time,” she said and asked attendees to reach out to a teacher that made a lasting impact in their life.

The 2017 Excellence in Education Recipients in each of the five categories are:

  • PreK-5th Grade Teacher – JoAnne Zaleski, 5th and 6th grade science teacher at Somonauk Middle School
  • 6th -8th Grade Teacher –  Elizabeth Hoerchler, PreK – 8th grade counselor at Hiawatha District 426
  • 9th– 12th Grade Teacher – Toni Gabriel, Agriculture and Science Teacher at Somonauk High School
  • Administration – Jay Streicher, Superintendent for Somonauk District 432
  • Support Staff – Angie Moore,  Food Service Director for Hiawatha District 426

For more information please contact Grants & Community Initiatives Manager Becky Zantout at becky@dekalbccf.org or at 815-748-5383.

Pictured – The 2017 Excellence in Education Award recipients and event sponsors are from left: Yvonne Johnson, Donor; Amanda Christensen, Regional Superintendent; JoAnne Zaleski, Recipient; Jay Streicher, Recipient; Elizabeth Hoerchler, Recipient; Angie Moore, Recipient; Toni Gabriel, Recipient; Dan Templin, DeKalb County Community Foundation Executive Director; and Becky Zantout, DeKalb County Community Foundation Community Initiatives Manager.

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