Maine West Staff Recognized by the Illinois Directors of Student Activities Organization
Two Maine West staff members earned awards from the Illinois Directors of Student Activities (IDSA) during its annual convention in April.
Kathleen Garrity-Rodinos was recognized as an Activity Advisor of the Year and Nate Hassman was awarded a 2022 Educational Leadership Award.
In her role as a teaching assistant for Maine West's special education department, Garrity-Rodinos can always be seen walking, chatting and assisting students. In addition to her daily role as a TA, she serves as the Key Club sponsor. Many clubs and activities suffered during the pandemic, as students were remote. However, during that time, Kathy seized the moment to find multiple ways to keep students engaged. The activities included arranging donations for families, writing cards for those in senior living facilities, making blankets for children in hospitals, decorating trees at the Des Plaines tree-lighting ceremony and wrapping books for a mystery book event at a local elementary school.
"Her work inspires students to learn about the power of giving their time and the joy and goodness that comes from serving others," says Associate Principal for Student Experiences John Aldworth. "Her volunteerism is limited only by the hours in the day and Maine West and Des Plaines are incredibly lucky to have her assisting our students."
Hassman is the quintessential educational leader at Maine West where he embodies all the strongest aspects of being a leader along with a never-ending work ethic and positive attitude. Several years ago Hassman was a Warrior Pride sponsor for the school and when given the opportunity to transition to Link Crew he accepted that challenge. After one year of Link Crew, because of the pandemic, the group switched to virtual and he led that change. When asked to run both a virtual and an in-person orientation for freshmen, he improved both models and made the freshmen feel a sense of belonging through the programs.
"Personally, the best part of my day is when Nate pops his head in my office and asks how he can help, which he does countless times every semester," says Aldworth. "Whether he is gathering dozens of volunteers at a moment's notice or creating a video in 24 hours, he is always available to serve our students."
The IDSA's mission is to encourage students to involve themselves in student activity programs and to encourage schools to commit portions of their financial resources to provide such programs.