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Staff Recognition Celebration

On Wednesday, May 19, 2021, Sycamore Community School District 427 staff members gathered at North Grove Elementary School for the District’s annual Staff Recognition Ceremony. 

During the ceremony, the District recognizes staff for their years of service, but the event served a secondary purpose this year — to reconnect staff of all buildings, in person. Such events are slowly returning to the schedule, but for the past year, they’ve largely gone virtual or were not able to be held at all.

Staff Recognition Celebration, Steve Wilder standing at the podium speaking.

Superintendent Steve Wilder said, “if you work in the same school, you get to see each other on a regular basis, but if you don't work in the same school… this is one of those rare opportunities over the last year or so where you get to see people in person.”

Full time staff who have been with the District for 10 years or more, in increments of five years, were announced to the response of applause from their peers. The District’s retiring staff members were also recognized.

Board of Education President Jim Dombek presented an Honorary Doctorate Degree to

Staff Recognition, Kathy Countryman standing at podium speaking and accepting her award.

former Superintendent Kathy Countryman. “It really is the highest honor, I think, that we can bestow as a district, and the people who earn this award are really quite extraordinary… this year's award winner is no exception to that rule,” said Dombek, as he motioned toward Countryman.

There is no doubt that our staff are dedicated, and their dedication does not go unnoticed. As Countryman put it, “Our students do so well… [because] they can count on all of you to be around… be their partners… and stay.”

Sycamore Community School District 427 thanks all of our staff for facing challenges with courage and being there for our students; and we extend congratulations to this year’s retirees!

10 Year Service Awards

Sarah Biggs

Drayton Eggleson

Carrie Freeman

Kelsey Gilmore

Joel Knoblock

Mary Maher

Melissa Marberry

Michael Rice

Kathryn Sorensen

Emily Sullivan

Michelle Tranchita


15 Year Service Awards

Rachael Berna

Benjamin Doty

Bethany Fitzenreider

Jeanne Flaherty

Janelle Flieder

Sarah Frankiewicz

Marc Gorecki

Amy Hansen

Kelly Hardesty

Raymond Horan

Charles Jennings

Kimberly Kleiser

Nancy Korth

Clay Meier

Melody Monroe-Birdsell

Alyssa Peck

Heidi Phelps

Dayne Shaw

Diane Stolarski

Christina Swanson

Nora Ursini

Kellie Vinz

Adam Volkening

Jonathan Walter

Stacie Williar


20 Year Service Awards

Matthew Anderson

Carol Brint-Slutz

Bonnie Cortell

Dawn Graves

Mary Grimes

Karla Gulke

Kristina Jordan

James Kohler

Joseph Malecki

Valtricia Sherwood

Kreg Wesley

Barbara White

Dwayne Williams

Kimberly Woodstrup


25 Year Service Awards

Thomas Davis

Ken Tonaki

Cindy Vosburgh

Sarah Ward


30 Year Service Awards

Jodi Holtz

Kathleen Horan



Annette Irving (35 Years)

Eugene Irving (35 Years)

Shelly Bryant (27 Years)

Patrice Pritchard (27 Years)

Conzada Stracner (26 Years)

Michelle Fey (25 Years)

Allyson Holder (23 Years)

Jody Leonhard (23 Years)

Diane Hughes (19 Years)

Susan Lee (19 Years)

Deborah Bond (14 Years)

Sally Bruns (14 Years)

Elaine Dwyer (14 Years)

Karen Larsen (14 Years)

Marijo Schwartz (14 Years)

Reva Murray (13 Years)

Mary Strohm (12 Years)

Rene Hoeve (11 Years)

Kim Hoffhines (8 Years)


Honorary Doctorate Degree

Kathy Countryman