Neighbors in the news: Des Plaines Park District lauds dedicated employee with award

• The Des Plaines Park District has honored Pedro Garcia with its Dedicated to Excellence Award for his hard work and dedication providing the park district with great services across all departments.

Garcia, who has been with the Des Plaines Park District for 14 years, works for the Landscape Maintenance Team performing maintenance, repairs and installations in the district's athletic fields.

He is a critical team member for athletic field maintenance and is instrumental in getting the ball diamonds and soccer fields ready every summer and fall.

During the winter season, Garcia is the lead for ice rink set up and snow removal operations. He can be counted on to prevent and solve problems, and is the first to jump in when help is needed.

He is a hard worker and excellent leader with great initiative, working independently without direction. His extensive knowledge in park maintenance and problem solving benefits the Des Plaines Park District community.

Buffalo Grove Park District Commissioner Stephen Cummins earned a Master Rank in the Illinois Association of Park Districts' Board Member Development Program. Courtesy of Buffalo Grove Park District

Stephen Cummins, a Buffalo Grove Park District commissioner, has earned a Master Rank from the Illinois Association of Park Districts' Board Member Development Program, the highest rank one can achieve.

The program began in 1997, and gives recognition to those who consistently go above and beyond the call of duty to better themselves as board members.

"I want to thank my board colleagues for instilling the value of professional development as a commissioner, and being present at our outstanding park district programs. I will continue to grow my capacity to better serve our Buffalo Grove community and the Buffalo Grove Park District staff," Cummins said.

U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Jedd Tabladillo. Courtesy of U.S. Navy Office of Community Outreach

During the 2023 Super Bowl national anthem performance, three Navy tactical squadrons conducted a unified flyover. Petty Officer 2nd Class Jedd Tabladillo, a native of Elk Grove Village, was one of the sailors maintaining the aircraft for Electronic Attack Squadron 129.

Tabladillo, a 2015 graduate of Streamwood High School, joined the Navy seven years ago. Today, he serves as an aviation machinist's mate.

"Growing up and being a part of a team sport, like football, taught me the importance of teamwork, discipline and selflessness," said Tabladillo. "It has helped me throughout my Navy career."

As he continues to train and perform missions, there's a great deal of pride serving in the United States Navy.

"Serving in the Navy means a lot to me," added Tabladillo. "It has given me many life lessons and friends."

Sheila Tucker at the World Irish Dance qualifiers in Indianapolis in November 2022. Courtesy of McNulty School of Irish Dance

Libertyville resident Sheila Tucker, from the McNulty School of Irish Dance, is in Ireland competing in the elite All Ireland Dance Championships. The event runs through Feb. 18 and is host to thousands of dancers from all over the world.

Tucker, a senior at Libertyville High School, trains three to five days a week at the McNulty studios in Crystal Lake and Arlington Heights and at home daily when she's not in class.

When not dancing, Tucker can be found running cross country or in the gym with her track and field team. In the fall, she will enter college to study nursing.

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