For the start of the 2020-21 school year, Collinsville CUSD 10 Superintendent Dr. Mark B. Skertich announced the 2020 recipients of the Superintendent’s Quality & Excellence Awards. Award winners are nominated by their peers and selected by Dr. Skertich.
Sherry Miller – Educational Assistant at Renfro School
Nominated by: Stephanie Vandeford
“Sherry is tasked with challenging schedules and a job that is very inconsistent. Through all of these obstacles, she never shows her frustration with the students or staff. After a long first week of school being patient and supportive with one of my students, she could see that I was approaching my frustration point. She stepped in without a second thought and magically redirected the situation. The student was immediately responsive to her kindness and complied with her boundaries.
She learns about students’ home lives and has genuine concern for the social/emotional as well as academic needs. She is sensitive to those ‘tough’ students and never discloses personal information.
Ms. Miller connects the school with the community by being instrumental in the Kellsie’s Hope Foundation and Sock it to Cancer. Even with her busy schedule, she will sacrifice her personal time to help you in your classroom.
Her positivity shines and is incredibly contagious! Her shirts are inspiring with sayings such as “throw kindness like confetti” or ‘be the change you wish you see in the world.’ Through rain, snow, sleet or shine, she greets each student in the car drop-off line. She’s the first face students see each day – lucky kiddos!”
Jennifer Stroot – 1st Grade Teacher at Kreitner Elementary
Nominated by: Krista Basuel
“Jenny is so kind and caring to all her students. Her students feel loved and valued! Jenny thinks of interests of her students and gears her activity around these interests. She had a whole theme based around creating leprechaun traps as part of her science curriculum. During Remote Learning, Jenny took supplies to her student’s door steps, and she even delivered Easter baskets.
Jenny is a go-getter who continues to inspire her colleagues. She is always looking for ways to help out her fellow staff members. She created a “Zoom help and tips” video that she shared with the staff to help us during remote learning. She is willing to share her ideas and plans as well as listen to what her team members have to suggest.
When looking around her classroom, you will see it is focused on first grade standards and skills. Jenny generates Promethean Flipchart activities for Math, Reading, and Science and uses interactive notebooks and hands on activity for her science lessons to engage the students.
Jenny volunteers as a Board member for the REACH Summer Lunch Program, participated in a yearly Habitat for Humanity trip, volunteered for the girls’ volleyball program and is also a member of Women’s Auxiliary group. She is still active with the McKendree student teacher program and partnered with a McKendree professor to write for a grant to bring Hispanic Heritage books to our students.”
Jeri Arnold – Business Teacher at Collinsville High School
Nominated by: Dawn Dimitroff, Vicki Fuhrhop, Kristie Moore, Kelli Ponce, Emily Reed, Mark Schusky, Kyle Gordon and David Snider
“Jeri Arnold develops and maintains relationships with students that are truly life-changing. She treats students in a way that respects them and in turn garners their respect. They know her “tough love” is always going to push them to better themselves and work harder. Jeri created and developed from scratch the Video Production classes at CHS. I think the number of her former students now employed in the media industry through the country, including Hollywood, speaks to how powerful, impactful, and effective her content knowledge and classroom teaching are.
As Business Department Chair she respects the time and talents of her department members, is open to their opinions, and allows them to self-manage their classrooms and program with the understanding of her high expectations and willingness to give her assistance when needed. She has a collegial and professional relationship with all her peers at CHS. She is a positive force with the building and an example to her fellow staff members. I think those “honor and privilege” words are used too often, probably – but in this case, they truly don’t even adequately capture how lucky CHS is to have her.
The phrase ‘above and beyond’ was a common theme from all of her nominators. ‘Above and Beyond’ approach to all aspects of teaching, to being a trusted faculty member and colleague, to helping her peers, students and the community in a variety of projects, and most recently by spending countless hours creating the 2020 Honors Convocation and Graduation Videos as well as the hour long senior goodbye video. Jeri spent 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. teaching, grading and assisting her classes and students like most teachers, but then took on the task of organizing, filming and editing the graduation program video. Jeri Arnold has absolutely been the glue that has held the production of the virtual CHS 2020 Graduation and Honors Convocation together. Especially this year with the school closure, these videos will help students capture and remember these moments of their lives in a way they will cherish and value forever. I can’t imagine a better way to build, nourish and cherish a Kahok community.”