Q2 2021 - 22

  • Alyssa Zajack - Instruction Coach, Parker Junior High

Q1 2021 - 22

  • Tamika Britten - ACE, Heather Hill

  • Amy Wagner - 4th Grade, Western Avenue

April 2021

  • Ashley Rich - 1st Grade, Western Avenue

  • Pana Campbell - Reading Specialist, Serena Hills

March 2021

  • D161 Technology Team

    • Lennard Razor - Director of Technology

    • Andre Causey - Network Operations Coordinator

    • Steve Reid - Systems Operations Facilitator

    • Deb Doyle - Technology Technician

    • Darrell Judon - Technology Techinician

    • Jean Davis - Technology Paraprofessional

    • Liz Ganshirt - Technology Paraprofessional

    • John Gonzalez - Technology Paraprofessional

    • Carrie Riley - Technology Paraprofessional

    • Paula Webster - Technology Paraprofessional

February 2021

  • Staci Klein - STEAM, Western Avenue

January 2021

  • Jana Budz - Special Education Resource, Western Avenue

  • Jim Czerwonka - 5th Grade, Heather Hill

  • Julie Tracy - Kindergarten, Flossmoor Hills

December 2020

  • Lisa Martin - Paraprofessional, Serena Hills

  • Rosalynd McWhorter - 6th Grade English/Language Arts, Parker Junior High

November 2020

  • Carmel Alterson - Paraprofessional, Western Avenue

  • Kelly Rosales - Kindergarten, Flossmoor Hills

October 2020

  • DeLores Mannes - 6th Grade/ELA, Parker Junior High

  • Lisa Nictora - 6th Grade/Social Studies, Parker Junior High

  • Amanda Watson - Kindergarten, Western Avenue

March 2020

  • Joan Mahler - 3rd Grade, Heather Hill

February 2020

  • Christina Bollenbacher - 2nd Grade, Serena Hills

  • Valeria Pasqua - Music, Western Avenue

  • Chelena Williams, Bus Driver

January 2020

  • Frempomah Tolonaa - Administrative Assistant, Western Avenue

  • Pam Panozzo - 5th Grade, Western Avenue

  • Katie May - Kindergarten, Heather Hill

  • Arcelia Sanchez - School Support Aide, Serena Hills

December 2019

  • Mark Eichenlaub – Instructional Coach, Parker Junior High

  • Danielle Montijo – 1st Grade Teacher, Western Avenue

  • Carol Creed – 3rd Grade Teacher, Flossmoor Hills

  • Amy Gehrt – Reading Specialist, Parker Junior High

  • Kathy Knawa – District Certified Nurse


I want to nominate a staff member!

#AboveAndBeyond Winners!

Q3 2021 - 22

Wanda Alexander

Wanda Alexander - Confidential Associate, Normandy Villa

"Ms. Alexander is deserving of this nomination because she is great at all of her jobs. She handles a wide range of task behind the scenes. She makes things happen to the best of her ability and beyond. She works in the wee hours of the morning while everyone else is sleeping and is always on call. She understands the community and handles them with respect and a smile. I have witnessed this for myself as a parent of a 161 student and as an employee."

Ashley Somer

Ashley Somer - Instructional Coach, Flossmoor Hills

"It is said that “The mediocre teacher tells, the good teacher explains, the superior teacher demonstrates, and the great teacher inspires.”  Ashley Somer is truly someone who inspires the students and staff in District 161 to grow and succeed.

Ashley has been going above and beyond for as long as she has been in her position. You can find her scurrying around the building filing her many hats from instructional coach to PBIS chair to recess duty etc., Ashley is flexible and willing to help in any situation as her duties are constantly changing. She handles every task she is given with exuberance and positivity. Ashley is dedicated to her assignments and consistently willing to go beyond what is expected to help teachers reach their professional goals and objectives. She has an energetic enthusiasm and openness to new ideas and research in the field of education. From her Weekly Gotta Minute tips and her professional development Lunch and Learn, you are sure to walk away with new found knowledge and a sweet baked treat of brownies or cookies. Ashley knows what high impact strategies are out there and gives specific ideas as to how teachers can begin to better implement those practices in their classroom. She does this by modeling strategies, collaborating with teachers, and co-teaching if necessary to ensure success with students. Whether you are working in the classroom or working remotely, Ashley has a toolbox of instructional practices to support teaching and learning. She knows when to use each tool to make the best impact on students and their learning thus giving her the ability to connect with them on simple concepts, as well as more advanced topics. Ashley has high expectations for our students and likes to challenge them to think outside of the box. While sensitive to the needs and special concerns of our students, she kindly but firmly helps them behave appropriately, focus on their lessons, and do their best.

I personally would not have made it through remote learning without Ashley’s help and expertise. I was in a panic when we left in March for remote learning. Although my second graders had used Chrome books in the classroom for centers, using them for remote learning was a whole different ballgame. Just getting everyone signed in to their Google account proved to be a nightmare. Ashley helped make sure all of my kids where ready to go by answering parent emails, typing out steps, and talking to parents directly to problem solve. I have probably called or emailed her 100 times since last March. She has a willingness to take on any challenge you give her. Every time I had a question or concern she has politely answered all my questions and patiently walked me through all the steps. She has even emailed me step by step directions with a video included. Beyond that, Ashley has even taken the time to test out new programs with my students to make sure it runs smoothly before I implement it. She always follows up with you to see how things turned out and if you have any lingering questions, and like a mom, she evens sends you encouraging messages along the way that you are doing well. Ashley has helped me confidently take on new tasks with ease.

Ashley Somer is truly a gift to the teachers, students, and parents of Flossmoor School District 161. "