Two Collinsville High School students and two faculty members were honored by the City of Collinsville and Collinsville Chamber of Commerce at the 2018 Collinsville Community Awards Dinner on Thursday, November 8, 2018.
The annual awards night recognizes “exceptional businesses and individuals that are making a difference in our Collinsville community.” This year, new categories recognized outstanding youth leadership, tourism and patriotic spirit. Collinsville’s Firefighter and Police Officer of the Year were also honored.
Leaders of Tomorrow Award: Dalton Morris
Dalton Morris, a junior at Collinsville High School was nominated by Brad Patrick of Collinsville VFW Post 5691. Dalton is currently working on his Eagle Scout designation and is an active member of the VFW Auxiliary.
In December 2017, he organized a rummage sale at the VFW that raised over $1,000 for hurricane relief. He has volunteered with Climb for PTSD – a climbing wall that raised funds for Veterans with PTSD and was awarded the Clara Barton Humanitarian Award by the Red Cross earlier this year.
He raised over $600 and built a flag retirement pit at the VFW. He is a regular volunteer at the Post’s weekly fish fry during the Lenten season.
In addition, Dalton is active in the CHS Chorus, having earned a 1st superior with the CHS Chorus Ensemble and performed the National Anthem at a St. Louis Cardinals game. He also performed at the Milliken University Vocalfest.
Dalton was sworn into the US Army Reserves on October 9, 2018.
Video Honoring Dalton Morris:
Leaders of Tomorrow Award: Salvador Gaspar
Salvador Gaspar, a senior at Collinsville High School, was nominated by CHS Counselor Renee Kurtz. Salvador is ranked in the top 10% of the CHS Class of 2019 and serves the school and greater Collinsville community in a number of ways.
At Collinsville High School, Salvador is part of KAHOKStrong, the CHS organization that assists families in the community struggling with illness, death or unexpected financial hardships. He is part of the new Leo Club which works with the local Lions Club to raise money to assist families with lower income who live in areas where natural disasters have occurred. He is active in the Pep Club and Student Council – as well as a member of Kahok Krazies, the small group of 11 students who organize and direct school pep assemblies and lead the student body in school spirit.
Salvador was a valued member of the 2017 Kahok Boys Soccer team who earned 3rd place in the IHSA State Finals this year. He is a a leader among his teammates, always modeling a strong work ethic and encouraging them to do their best.
Among his most outstanding qualities are those he demonstrates by giving back to his friends and family in the local Hispanic community. He has learned a strong work ethic from his parents, and in addition to his many school activities and academic achievements, he works to contribute to his family’s needs. He is a role model for his siblings and helps as a translator and advocate for those navigating various local educational, community and governmental systems.
This summer, Salvador was one of 20 students selected to take part in the High School Hispanic Leadership Institute. The event was presented by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation of Metropolitan St. Louis. He was the only representative from a high school on Illinois side of the metro area.
Video Honoring Salvadore Gaspar:
Patriot Service Award: Barbara Lindauer
Barbara Lindauer is the chair of the social studies department at Collinsville High School. She shares her love of travel and diverse cultures with students by making geography come to life every day in her classroom. She is the sponsor of several clubs and activities including Multicultural Kahoks and Model UN. However, it is her work outside her classroom, promoting patriotism and respect for military service that earned her the first annual Patriot Service Award.
Barbara, a military veteran herself, naturally developed respect for service through a close relationship with her father and others who were part of the “Greatest Generation.” She shares that appreciation every year with the students of Collinsville High School who host a special luncheon at the high school for veterans and active duty military in our community.
When she spearheaded the application process at CHS for the school to earn the Illinois Democracy School designation, she was determined the students would include a project to honor local veterans. As a result, starting with money she received for being recognized as a VFW Teacher of the Year, Ms. Lindauer initiated a fundraising effort to erect a monument at the high school to honor local residents who served in the military.
The monument was dedicated on September 11 of this year, with a large crowd of students, veterans and community members in attendance. Lindauer hopes the monument will serve as a constant reminder to the students who see it each day of the sacrifices made for freedom.
Video Honoring Ms. Lindauer:
Stan Schaeffer Education Community Leadership Award: Stevie Brown
Collinsville High School Assistant Principal Stevie Brown was selected as the first recipient of this award named for late Collinsville mayor and educator Stan Schaeffer.
The award recognizes “an employee within the CUSD 10 district who not only has furthered education in Collinsville, but has gone above and beyond to serve the community.”
Mr. Brown is known around Collinsville High School for his dedication to students and no nonsense way of communicating with them. He strolls the hallways with a smile and attitude that connects with high schoolers in a personal and empathetic way. He looks beyond discipline issues to find underlying factors to help students stay on track. He is a valued member of the CHS administrative team.
Two years ago, Mr. Brown joined a committee to help promote the school district and community to local REALTORS. He shared his personal, emotional story about being a CUSD 10 parent and staff member as part of a presentation. His heartfelt sincerity connected with those in the room and led to an ongoing role with the Collinsville Community Collaboration (c3) group.
Mr. Brown brings knowledge about the school district and finds ways to connect it to community growth and image. He now serves on the City’s Economic Development Commission. His ability to see the “big picture” has directly contributed to new initiatives to bridge gaps among community groups and promote Collinsville as a place to live and do business.
He is currently part of the steering committee charged with developing a CEO entrepreneurship program for Collinsville High School. This grassroots effort will develop and fund a cooperative partnership between the City and school district to support kids in conceptualizing and creating new business opportunities. The new course will match students with local business partners to learn how to grow a small business idea.