The 2019-20 Collinsville Community Unit School District #10 Superintendent’s Quality and Excellence Award recipients were officially named on October 2, 2019 as Superintendent Dr. Mark B. Skertich surprised each with a personal visit to present the awards.
This year’s recipients are Ginger Schantz (Renfro Elementary), Dana Larson (Collinsville Middle School) and Shonnese Wilson (Dorris Intermediate School).
At the start of the 2019-20 school year, Dr. Skertich learned he was immediately charged with choosing recipients for the honor. He had only been in his position for a few weeks, so he instituted a new method for soliciting nominees. He asked CUSD 10 staff to submit nominations for co-workers deserving of the district’s highest recognition.
Dr. Skertich reviewed the nominations and chose three recipients based on six criteria: rapport with students, relationship with peers, professionalism, classroom activities and use of content knowledge, going above and beyond in his/her profession, and community involvement. Nominations had to include information for at least four of the six areas.
Dr. Skertich said, beyond selecting recipients, he also learned more about many outstanding staff members in Unit 10. “The nominators had such passion and appreciation for their colleagues. It reinforced what I see every day about the great team of educators we have in this district.”
Staff members who were nominated, but not selected this year, were sent a congratulatory letter from Dr. Skertich to let them know how much their efforts are appreciated by the district – and especially those who work with them.
Dr. Skertich was joined for the presentation at all three schools by Human Resources Director Kevin Robinson and CUSD 10 Board Members: Dr. Dennis Craft, Mrs. Jane Soehlke and Ms. Michele Stutts. He announced recipients were chosen in three categories: Certified Staff Elementary, Certified Staff Middle/High School and Non-Certified Staff.
Excerpts from the Nominations for Superintendent’s Quality and Excellence Award Recipients:
Ginger Schantz, 2nd Grade Teacher, Renfro Elementary
“Ginger’s love, compassion and caring for all students is obvious. She is a hugger to all of them no matter how dirty they may be or how much their behavior may be wearing her out. She takes the time with each student as needed to explain things they don’t understand. Her students love her because they feel her love. Students are never wary of approaching her. I see most of her former students as they move to different grade levels come up and hug her in the hallways often.”
“Ginger has been on a school improvement committee every year. The last few years she has been on the Character council and most recently the Kindness council. Both councils work with other staff and students in character building skills within the school setting both in and out of the classroom and with building social relationships in the school.”
Dana Larson, 8th Grade Teacher and Social Studies Department Chair, Collinsville Middle School
“Ms. Larson has a phenomenal rapport with her students. She holds her students to high expectations while taking each student’s individual needs into consideration. She takes an interest in her student’s extracurricular activities in order to build relationships and incorporates her students’ interests into her lessons to make her students eager to learn. Students also feel they can confide in her or address their concerns openly knowing they’ll be treated fairly and without judgement.”
“I love how Mrs. Larson challenges her students to think on a higher level. She doesn’t present problems, questions, or activities that are base level. With her honors Social Studies class that she designed, she takes the students to so many exciting and interesting places like Alton to see the statue of Robert Wadlow and Collins House to name a couple. In addition, Dana has an amputee day in her classroom which the students are completely into. But she also allows other Social Studies teachers to bring their students to her room to participate and experience the event.”
Shonnese Wilson, Educational Assistant, Dorris Intermediate School
“Ms. Wilson has always done a great job of establishing and maintaining a great rapport with the students. Throughout the day, Ms. Wilson interacts with students in a variety of positions including the gym supervision, classroom assistant, and end of day supervision. When Ms. Wilson is working one on one with the students it is obvious that she cares about who she is working with and what they are doing. Without any prompting, Ms. Wilson will identify and help support any student that needs extra attention. While working with the students one-on-one, the guidance and care she shows the students is quickly apparent.”
“If you need something from Ms. Wilson, it will happen without a second thought. Copies, grading, trips to the office, someone to talk to, a hug, advice, proper grammar checks, a kind smile, someone to talk to a student when you can’t find the energy … anything! Ms. Wilson is the gold standard when it comes to going above and beyond. She will help out in the classroom, gym, cafeteria, hallway, and more without missing a beat or letting up on her other duties.”
“She is a person that will make you want to try harder to become a better person.”