District 54 names seven Ensuring Student Success Award winners
District 54 is proud to announce the following recipients of the district's 2019 Ensuring Student Success Awards.
• Chris Bingen, principal of Addams Junior High School, won in the administrator category.
• Sue Budak, a District 54 Education Foundation trustee and past president of the Schaumburg Township Council of PTAs, won in the volunteer category.
• Cynthia Christian, a paraprofessional at John Muir Literacy Academy, won in the educational service personnel category.
• The Eisenhower Junior High School guidance team of Melissa Hemzacek, Melinda Perez, Monica Bhatia, Krishna Patel and Julie Goolish won in the team category.
• Laurie Konkey, a language arts teacher at Keller Junior High School, won in the classroom teacher category.
• Sara Maduzia, a literacy coach at Armstrong Elementary School, won in the student support personnel category.
• Katherine Massingill, a fifth- and sixth-grade teacher at Dooley Elementary School, won in the early career educator category.
Whether it is problem-solving how to support struggling students or planning engaging and innovative lessons, Addams Junior High Principal Chris Bingen is always supportive of new ideas and ready to help in any way he can. If Chris thinks something will help students, he will find a way to make it happen. He truly embodies the "culture of yes." He takes student feedback very seriously and regularly meets with his student Principal Advisory Committee.
Sue Budak has spent countless hours over the years as a volunteer with the District 54 Education Foundation and with the PTA, where she has served as PTA Council Chair and Reflections Chair. In addition to volunteering her time, Sue recently gave two generous donations to benefit District 54 students. She donated $9,000 to the Foundation for STEM education in memory of her husband Mark, and $10,000 toward the purchase of Orange Frog books with District 54 study guides for each family.
Cynthia Christian has the ability to make strong connections with everyone she encounters in her role as a paraprofessional at Muir Elementary. She does whatever it takes to meet the needs of students, and is incredibly supportive of her colleagues, as well. Cynthia runs the Breakfast Club at Muir, feeding children from financially struggling families a healthy meal and connecting with them on a personal level each day. Her high expectations for students help ensure their success.
Eisenhower Guidance Team
The Eisenhower Junior High Guidance Team model what it means to support the whole child by developing positive relationships with students. In addition to their daily work with children, the team organizes events to support the whole child, such as a basket brigade to provide Thanksgiving meals and a holiday event where students could shop for their families. The team has also built strong relationships with Eisenhower staff and has become an incredible resource and partner in meeting students' needs.
Leadership is influence, and Laurie Konkey's influence extends far outside the walls of her language arts classroom at Keller Junior High. She connects with students and staff through a variety of roles, including as Interact Club sponsor and Student Ambassador leader. Laurie always comes up with creative ways to bring together the Keller community and goes to great lengths to show she cares. Most recently, she planned an early private graduation ceremony for student whose mother was terminally ill.
Armstrong Literacy Coach Sara Maduzia is constantly thinking of ways to meet help students meet their goals. If a student had a difficult day, she asks questions to learn more and encourages the student that they will succeed tomorrow. Sara works with numerous clubs, including Homework Club and Club Unify, to build relationships with students. Sara is a leader and a team player, and everyone knows they can go to her with any question or request.
District 54 is focused on elevating experiences for students, and Dooley fifth- and sixth-grade teacher Katie Massingill has truly brought this to life. As a member of the school's Happiness Team, Katie has made positivity a priority for her students and has taken a leadership role in implementing positive psychology by organizing buddy classrooms, getting the community involved in writing gratitudes for students and more. Katie is also a member of the school's Innovate 54 team and is always willing to try new things with her students.