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updated: 4/30/2013 6:34 PM

Celebrate Kane County educators at annual awards banquet

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Kane County Regional Office of Education

The 38th annual Educator of the Year Awards Banquet will be Friday, May 3, at the Q Center, 1405 N. Fifth Ave. in St. Charles.

This awards dinner provides an opportunity to honor outstanding members of the education profession in Kane County and promote the awareness of the quality education being provided in our schools. Special recognition is also given to those retiring from education this school year.

Local nominating committees consisting of teachers and administrators nominate educators throughout the county. Those nominated are seen as having the respect and admiration of students, parents, and co-workers. They play active and useful roles in their communities and schools, often distinguishing themselves as leaders.

The awards presented that evening include: Elementary Educator of the Year, Middle School Educator of the Year, High School Educator of the Year, Administrative Educator of the Year, Associate Educator of the Year, Support Staff Award, Regional Superintendent's Award, and Kane County Educator of the Year Award. All nominees receive special recognition as "Distinguished Educators."

Those honored represent the dedicated service found in all of the staff throughout Kane County. This program has received support from regional educators, and several Kane County award recipients have been selected by the Illinois State Board of Education as outstanding teachers in Illinois.

For information about the awards dinner, visit www.kaneroe.org.

The nominees are:

• Elementary School: Kandice Ream, teacher at O'Donnell Elementary, East Aurora Unit District 131; Andrew Smith, teacher/athletic director at Cambridge Lakes Charter School, Community Unit District 300; Lori DeRaedt, teacher at Howard B. Thomas Elementary School, Central Unit District 301; Rachael Wilson, teacher at Kaneland John Shields Elementary School, Kaneland Unit District 302; and Ellyn Sue Romoser, special education preschool teacher at Friendship Station Preschool, Geneva Unit District 304.

• Middle School: Leon Chaney, special education, math and science teacher at Simmons Middle School, East Aurora Unit District 131; Joshua Ransler Horton, literacy, social studies and AVID teacher at Lakewood School, Community Unit District 300; Patricia Reeder, math and language arts teacher at Harter Middle School, Kaneland Unit District 302; Ginny Gaspar, math and social studies teacher at Thompson Middle School, St. Charles Unit District 303; and Mary Louise Gobel, science teacher at Geneva Middle School North, Geneva Unit District 304.

• High School: Anette Bliss, German teacher at Central High School, Central Unit District 301; Mark Meyer, world cultures, psychology, economics and sociology teacher at Kaneland High School, Kaneland Unit District 302; Thomas Straiker, Auto Tech I-III teacher at St. Charles East High School, St. Charles Unit District 303; and Lisa Gillette, health teacher at Geneva High School.

• Administrative: Margaret Boyd, assistant principal at Cowherd Middle School, East Aurora Unit District 131; and Heather Weiss, assistant principal at Harter Middle School, Kaneland Unit District 302.

• Support Staff: Maria Renteria Rodriguez, administrative assistant for technology, East Aurora Unit District 131; Gary Chester, district safety officer, Community Unit District 300; Lori Anne Pepper, bilingual paraeducator at deLacey Family Education Center, Community Unit District 300; Bob Raidy, custodian at Prairie View Grade School, Central Unit District 301; Pamela R. Berth, principal's secretary at Kaneland Blackberry School, Kaneland Unit District 302; Stephen W. Downen, custodian at Geneva High School, Geneva Unit District 304; Linda Hensel, instructional assistant at Mid-Valley Cooperative; and Susan J. Fortner, principal's secretary at Elgin High School, Elgin Area School District U-46.

• Special Educator: Jodi Eppenstein, early childhood special education teacher at Child Service Center, East Aurora Unit District 131; Ann M. Dicosola, guidance counselor at Dundee-Crown High School, Community Unit District 300; Julie A. Voss, cross-categorical language at Neubert Elementary School; Community Unit District 300; Colleen S. Feeney, EASE teacher, Howard B. Thomas Elementary School, Central Unit District 301; Robert Freitag, high school counselor at St. Charles North High School, St. Charles Unit District 303; and Rebecca Schwab, guidance counselor at Geneva Middle School North, Geneva Unit District 304.

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