August 2022 – As part of August “Welcome Back” events for Collinsville Community Unit School District #10 staff, Superintendent Dr. Mark B. Skertich announced the 2022 recipients of the Superintendent’s Quality & Excellence Award. The award is presented annually by the district superintendent in two categories: Certified Staff and Non-Certified Staff.
Individuals are nominated by district colleagues, and recipients are chosen by Dr. Skertich. Criteria for the Superintendent’s Quality & Excellence award include: rapport with students; relationship with peers; professionalism; classroom activities and use of content knowledge (certified staff); going above and beyond in their profession; and community involvement.
Mark Schusky/Collinsville High School Social Studies Teacher (Certified Staff)
Schusky was nominated by fellow CHS teacher Kyle Gordon, who wrote:
Teaching both ELL Government and Current Events is not an easy task. Every morning he arrives to create materials for his Current Events class at 6:30 a.m. based on the daily newspaper. He works tirelessly to develop lessons in his ELL Government Class that all learners can understand and relate to. He is dedicated to teaching all kids that walk through his door. Mark has a loving, fatherly rapport with students both in and out of his classroom. They are always in his classroom chatting about their day and lives. He is open, honest and supportive of every child he comes in contact with.
Very few have the professionalism that Mr. Schusky demonstrates. He is a role model for others to emulate. He is a constant professional in the classroom, in this building and in his role as a building rep when needed. Mark is a leader in this building. He may be a union official, but that is not what makes him a leader. He is a leader because of the time and effort he puts into each and every faculty member he comes in contact with. He is kind, patient, understanding, knowledgeable and supportive of everyone at CHS.
Each and every year Mark donates his time to read names at the annual Honors Convocation and Graduation. He spends hours practicing this craft to ensure every child’s name is read correctly. This is an unpaid labor of love.
Mark Schusky can be described as “Mr. Collinsville.” From his service on the Library Board, to service on the Gateway Center Board to community service throughout the area, Mark is a pillar of this community.
Claudia Gramaglia/District Translator (Non-Certified Staff)
Gramaglia was nominated by Special Education Director Alison Underwood & Public Relations Liaison Kimberly Collins
Claudia has been observed during DIAL Screenings to be very interactive and kind with the little ones. She is warm and makes the children feel at ease. She also works Summer School at our elementary schools and she does a great job working with the students in that setting.
Claudia is a team player. She gets along well with her peers. She is collaborative with staff to ensure that she is explaining everything correctly during IEP meetings. She covers others’ IEP meetings when the other translators are absent. She is always willing to help a teacher or other staff member make a phone call to parents when there needs to be a translator involved.
Claudia’s work translating communications for the district office is often a last minute assignment. She NEVER hesitates or complains. She steps up and ALWAYS finds a way to get it done on top of her already busy schedule. Knowing she can always be reached and is ready to help, are qualities that make her a valued and respected member of the team.
Claudia may be one of the most professional staff members in CUSD 10. She handles herself with grace at all times even in some very challenging situations. She is always polite and respectful to all parties involved and makes sure that parents feel heard and valued during IEP meetings.
In her role translating district communications to Spanish-speaking families, Claudia has access to proprietary information before it is public. She protects that information and does not engage in gossip or banter about content. She works tirelessly to make sure her translation communicates the English version of messages in the best way possible to ensure Spanish-speaking families receive accurate and comprehensible communication of complex issues.
Claudia always makes sure to meet deadlines with IEP translations and get general district information translated quickly for communication with families. She works well outside of her hours and beyond her responsibilities. This includes evenings, weekends, holidays and on her own vacation time.
There are numerous examples of Claudia going above and beyond to support the district’s communication efforts. When an urgent need arose in the summer of 2020, she was out of town without reliable internet access. She found a restaurant where she could sit and translate a letter families needed to receive that afternoon. When she has a day off and gets a text message about an urgent document that needs to be translated, she communicates her availability and gets to it as soon as possible. Recently, following the Uvalde, TX school shooting, Claudia anticipated a message might be going out from Dr. Skertich, so she contacted the district office to offer her services on stand-by – undeterred by the fact that school was already out for summer break and she was not working that day.
She takes very seriously the need for all CUSD 10 families to have timely communication. When the Illinois Department of Public Health released a complex COVID-19 flowchart that was not available in Spanish, Claudia painstakingly recreated it so our families could have access to that important information.
Claudia is involved with the Diversity & Equity committee. Her input and contributions are a valued part of the group’s efforts.
She is a dedicated partner in making sure the Spanish-speaking members of our Kahok community are valued and respected. She works hard to lead and support efforts to translate materials – such as subtitles for Dr. Skertich’s video messages, the district’s lengthy Return to Learn Plans, as well as letters and announcements – so all people in our community have access to information.