Rockford Public Schools Announces 2013 "Those Who Excel" Winners

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Five Rockford Public Schools employees, one volunteer and one program were honored at the 29th Annual Those Who Excel awards Thursday night.

These were the categories, the winners and what their nominators said about them:

  • Classroom teacher: Katherine Rasmus, Marsh Elementary School. “As an elementary visual art specialist, she helps children create artwork of which they can be proud. For Katherine, teaching is truly an art.”

  • Administrator/principal: Janice Hawkins, Guilford High School, for increasing on-time-to-class performance and reducing disciplinary referrals. “The school’s mission statement – Guilford, Great, Everyone, Together – is what she lives by every day.”

  • Student support personnel (certified): Karin Trost, Rolling Green Elementary School. “Her special interest in students who are both visually impaired and autistic led to her developing a tactile communication system that is now used throughout the state.”

  • Educational service personnel (non-certified): Lisa Jones, paraprofessional, Marsh. “She gives 100 percent each day and does so with a sense of enjoyment, serenity, humility and unquestionable dedication.”

  • School Board member/community volunteer: Dave Morgan, Eisenhower Middle School. “For the past 45 years Dave Morgan has served in key roles in manufacturing management and marketing in our community and remains focused on improving our region through manufacturing education.”

  • Team: Surgeons of Steel, Eisenhower, which exposes students to the real world of modern manufacturing. “To help students understand what manufacturing is really like, the team prepared a 45-minute presentation that dispelled several myths about factories.”
    A team of readers made up of Rockford Public Schools employees and community members made the selections. The awards were held at the Tebala Shrine Center in Rockford. Nominees can advance to the statewide 39th Annual Those Who Excel awards this fall, sponsored by the State Board of Education. This year’s Those Who Excel is a partnership between the Rockford Education Association and RPS. Winners at the state level will be announced at a banquet Oct. 19 at the Marriott Bloomington-Normal Conference Center in Normal.

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