IPSD204 Stars: A+ Awards

204 Stars: A+ Awards

IPSD204 has outstanding teachers and support staff who provide an excellent education and sustain the district’s strong reputation. Each month, three ‘stars,’ one from elementary, middle and high school levels, are recognized for going above and beyond to make a difference for students.

The A+ Award recognizes these stars and their contributions. Sponsored by Wells Fargo Advisors, the award recipients receive items for their classrooms and recognition throughout the district.

Know such a deserving teacher or support staff member? Nominate them for an A+ Award.  

A+ Award Nomination

Anyone can make an A+  nomination: student, parent or alumnus. Nominate a teacher or support staff member, from social worker to bus driver, that  goes ‘above and beyond’ for students.
> Make an A+ Award Nomination <

A+ Awards Overview

In 2014, IPEF teamed up with District 204 and Wells Fargo Advisors to recognize the positive impact of educators with a new award. The A+ Award is presented monthly by a surprise team to the unsuspecting winning teachers or staff members.

While their backgrounds and stories are unique, all A+ Award winners have one thing in common: they go ‘above and beyond’ for the students they support, often making the difference between a student floundering or succeeding. Remember that teacher who most influenced you during your school years? These A+ Award winners are those kind of educators.

 Make an A+ Award Nomination ❤

Program Sponsor

A+ Awards 2019 – 2020 School Year

May - Matt Cooper

April - Michele Savant

March - Scott Schaffer

February - Kevin Wynard

January - Amit Vaid

December - Eric Williams

November - Jimmy Kennedy

October - Holly Crawford

September - Meghan Van Dorn

2014 – 2022 A+ Award Recipients

2021 – 2022

SeptemberLeeAnn PietrykMcCarty Elementary School (4th Grade Teacher)
SeptemberMichele NowojGranger Middle School (6th PA Math Teacher)
SeptemberKathryn KreutzerNeuqua Valley High School (PE/Health Teacher)
OctoberMelinda ClawsonGraham Elementary School) (Kindergarten Teacher)
OctoberDina EspositoScullen Middle School (Counselor)
OctoberKevin CarrollWaubonsie Valley High School (Marching Band Director)
NovemberDebi SwieterLongwood Elementary School (4th Grade Teacher)
NovemberJennifer CoombsStill Middle School (ELA Teacher)
NovemberAshley ElderSTEPS (Teacher and Case Manager)
DecemberKathryn HillebrandCowlishaw Elementary School (1st Grade Teacher)
DecemberKelly MulhernGranger Middle School (6th Grade Social Studies Teacher)
DecemberKristen MansmithMetea Valley High School English Teacher/Coach)
JanuaryJenny HorseyKendall Elementary School (Project Arrow Teacher)
JanuaryBeth PiccininniHill MIddle School (PA Math Teacher)
JanuaryDavid JohnstonNeuqua Valley High School (Math Teacher)
FebruaryJean DomyancicOwen Elementary School (2nd Grade Teacher)
FebruarySheila MertesScullen MIddle School (Teaching Assistant)
FebruaryAlbert ZikaMetea Valley High School (Science Teacher)
MarchJoyce LouisSteck Elementary School (1st Grade Teacher)
MarchMaria SantoyoGregory MIddle School (Science Teacher)
MarchDonald DvorakWaubonsie Valley HIgh School (Art Teacher)
AprilBrooke FalckPeterson Elementary School (3rd Grade Teacher)
AprilTerrye NeuenschwanderFischer Middle School (7th ELA/Geography Teacher)
AprilSarah BienNeuqua Valley High School (Chinese Teacher)
MayMissy PaolettiGombert Elementary School (Speech & Language Pathologist)
MayAnne O'NeilHill Middle School (8th PA ELA/SS Teacher)
MayMichael O'NeillMetea Valley High School (Social Studies Teacher)

2020 – 2021

OctoberAileen HanniganClow Elementary School (1st Grade Teacher)
OctoberStephanie KuehnGranger Middle School (6th Grade Math Teacher)
OctoberJen KastnerWaubonsie Valley High School (English Teacher)
NovemberJacki KnowlesLongwood Elementary School (2nd Grade Teacher)
NovemberAnn KetchersideScullen Middle School (6th Grade Science Teacher)
NovemberAlyssa SchneiderMetea Valley High School (Math Teacher)
DecemberMary ZalabakYoung Elementary School (Special Ed Teacher)
DecemberPatrick CliffordHill Middle School (ELA Teacher)
DecemberErica PavlikNeuqua Valley High School (Business Teacher)
JanuaryRobert TesmondMetea Valley High School (English Teacher)
JanuaryBryan BussCrone Middle School (ELA Teacher)
JanuaryMegan FederhoferBrookdale Elementary School (5th Grade Teacher)
FebruaryJason VerdinNeuqua Valley High School (English Teacher)
FebruaryKathy AbrahamGranger Middle School (French Teacher)
FebruaryCourtney AbrahamovichPatterson Elementary School (5th grade Teacher)
MarchKaren KripasWaubonsie High School (Math Teacher)
MarchGeorge VellookunnelHill Middle School (ELA/Social Studies Teacher)
MarchMichael EsserMay Watts Elementary School (Special Ed Teacher Teacher)
AprilJennifer TorzaMetea Valley High School (Health/PE Teacher)
AprilStephanie BurdiakStill Middle School (6th grade Teacher)
AprilAmy ParkClow Elementary School (3rd grade Teacher)
MayDave CalvertWaubonsie Valley High School (English Teacher/Theater)
MayCaitlin DeBonaFischer Middle School (8th Grade Teacher)
MayRebeka RodriguezBrooks Elementary School (5th Grade Teacher)

2019 – 2020

SeptemberMeghan Van DornOwen Elementary School (Special Ed Teacher)
OctoberHolly CrawfordBrooks Elementary School (First Student School Bus Driver)
NovemberJimmy KennedyNeuqua Valley High School (PE Teacher)
DecemberEric WilliamsCrone Middle School (PE Teacher)
JanuaryAmit VaidMay Watts Elementary School (5th Grade Teacher)
FebruaryKevin WynardMetea Valley High School(Social Worker)
MarchScott SchafferGregory Middle School (Technology Teacher)
AprilMichele SavantScullen Middle School (Special Education Teacher)
MayMatt CooperGraham Elementary School (PE Teacher)

2017 – 2018

SeptemberJill DeFarnoBuilta Elementary School (LMC Director)
OctoberEdgar StewartMcCarty Elementary School(Crossing Guard)
NovemberJennifer RoweMetea Valley High School(Dean)
DecemberRyan HenryClow Elementary School(Music Teacher)
JanuaryCathie ProchaskaCowlishaw Elementary Schoo;(2nd Grade Teacher)
FebruaryMariah ReedGombert Elementary School (2nd Grade Teacher)
MarchAmanda YeePeterson Elementary School(2nd Grade Teacher)
AprilBernadette JacobsFry Elementary School (Kindergarten Teacher)
MayKim HaakeWaubonsie Valley High School (English Teacher)

2018 – 2019

OctoberTony AnnarinoBuilta Elementary (Evening Custodian)
NovemberAmy HuetsonGranger Middle (PA Science Teacher)
DecemberAlexis MansfieldGombert Elementary (4th Grade Teacher)
JanuaryJeannie Dina IPSD (Registration/Residency)
FebruaryJohn GelsominoNeuqua Valley High School (Media Teacher)
MarchElaine ArcheyBrooks Elementary (Teaching Assistant)
AprilColin RustBrookdale Elementary (4th Grade Teacher)
MayJohn GibbsStill Middle/Prairie Preschool (Coach, Teaching Assistant)

2016 – 2017

SeptemberVictor LowScullen Middle School (7th Grade Teacher)
OctoberRhonda JenkinsKendall Elementary School (LMC Director)
NovemberLisa LakeWelch Elementary School (Social Worker)
DecemberMeredith SmithYoung Elementary School (3rd Grade Teacher)
JanuaryBlake ClineSTEPS (Special Olympics Coach)
FebruaryKeith OlsonMcCarty Elementary School (5th Grade Teacher)
MarchMichael RossiNeuqua Valley High School(English Teacher)
AprilAndrea PalmerStill Middle School (English/Social Studies Teacher)
MayRob MaldonadoYoung Elementary School (PE Teacher)

2015 – 2016

SeptemberAmanda PyzikMetea Valley High School (Guidance Counselor)
OctoberSue KuhnGraham Elementary School (Secretary)
NovemberKatie AmmonsSteck Elementary School (Kindergarten Teacher)
DecemberEugenia LatkaWaubonsie Valley High School (Math Teacher)
JanuaryMichael AckermanMetea Valley High School (Special Olympics Coach)
FebruaryMatt RagusaNeuqua Valley High School (Chemistry Teacher, Coach)
MarchJohn FleetwoodSpring Brook Elementary School (Head Custodian)
AprilJacki ProvisIndian Plains High School (Secretary)
MayPatty McElroyPatterson Elementary School (Nurse)

2014 – 2015

OctoberSkaiste ZinkeviciusHill Middle School (6th Grade Teacher)
NovemberDebra CrooksGraham Elementary School (2nd Grade Teacher)
DecemberMegan MarcoFry Elementary School (Support Teacher)
JanuaryLiz FayWaubonsie Valley High School (English Teacher)
FebruaryCarolyn HesselinkWhite Eagle Elementary School (4th Grade Teacher)
MarchHeidi ProvostSpring Brook Elementary School (5th Grade Teacher)
Terence WhiteStill Middle School (Science Teacher)
Janice HumsWelch Elementary School (5th Grade Teacher)
Emily Binder Neuqua Valley High School (Music Teacher)
AprilLynne WhiteGranger Middle School (LMC Director)
MayKiki LabiancaGregory Middle School (Project Arrow Teacher)