CAPE Honors Outstanding District 202 Faculty, Staff and Parents

Credit: File photo
Credit: File photo
Submitted by District 202:

District 202’s CAPE parent group recognized outstanding parents, community members, teachers and staff members for their dedication to students, their schools and community at the 38th annual CAPE awards night on Thursday, April 24, 2014 at Plainfield North High School. 

CAPE is District 202’s committee for the Coordination of Administration and Parent groups for Educational efficiency. It serves as a “bridge” between district leadership and the parent groups for all 30 District 202 schools.

The group presented a special “Lifetime Award” to Superintendent of Schools Dr. John Harperwho is retiring in June 2014 after 33 years with District 202. 

Harper has served his entire career with the district, starting as a middle school social studies teacher in 1981 at Indian Trail Middle School. He has served the last 12 years as superintendent.

In 1990 he was appointed principal at Grand Prairie Elementary School. He had been in his new position only a few weeks when the infamous Plainfield tornado hit the area on August 28, 1990, destroying the high school, significantly damaging Grand Prairie and devastating the Plainfield-Joliet area. 

In 1996, Harper opened Timber Ridge Middle School as its first principal. Timber Ridge was the district’s first new school in 23 years – and led what would become 12 years of unprecedented, staggering growth in District 202.

He moved to the administrative center in 2000 as the assistant superintendent for administrative services, and was named Superintendent of Schools in 2002.

In his time as Superintendent, Dr. Harper:

  • Opened 15 of the district’s 30 schools
  • Saw the district’s student population more than double -- from 13,990 to 29,254
  • Oversaw similar increases in staffing
  • Implemented several major systemic changes including: the successful “House” feeder system  re-structuring of the academic program to ensure academic continuity intra-level, and level to level; led the implementation of an innovative Diversity Initiative that sought, among other things to increase minority hiring to match changing student demographics.

CAPE presented its “2014 Honored Guest Award” to Aux Sable Middle School Principal Dr. Ed Boswell. 

Boswell came to District 202 in 1999 as Dean of Students at Heritage Middle School. In 2004 he helped open Ira Jones Middle School as assistant principal.

He later served six years as principal before coming to the district office for one year in 2013 as the director for middle school administration. 

Boswell returned to his first love – the school – this year when he took over the principal’s job at Aux Sable Middle School.

Among other achievements Boswell helped create the district's Bully Task Force, created the district’s first “bully hotline” and played a key role in getting the district's new lock down/panic button systems installed.

Boswell is also well known for his compassion for special education.

Finally, CAPE presented District 202 Board of Education Vice President Michelle Smith with the 2014 CAPE Award for her exceptional volunteerism and service to District 202. 

Smith has served numerous community, school and district-level organizations ranging from elementary to high school parent groups, CAPE , the Foundation for Excellence and the Board of Education, among many others.

“While many people work hard and volunteer where their children are in the schools, the CAPE Award was meant to be an all-encompassing award and Michelle has demonstrated this in a variety of directions,” said District 202 Director of Technology Margie Bonuchi, who nominated Smith for the award. 

Smith and her husband, Brian, also support many community charitable organizations and functions

“Michelle is the one person who will always answer the call to help out when needed and is always happy to work to improve the community and school district,” Bonuchi said.

“She is dedicated to making the school community and the Village of Plainfield a great place for her family and for others and she is truly worthy of this award.”

Overall, about 180 people were recognized for their service, including: 


Bonnie McBeth Learning Center 

Friend of BMLC- Philana Nowak 

Simply the Best- Tina Vasquez

Pride Award-  Renee Tomas

Plainfield Academy & Turnabout Program

Award of Excellence- Mrs. Colleen Goldenberg

Award of Excellence- David Sidarous

Award of Excellence- Lana Evans

Award of Excellence- Mrs. Denise Worland

Special Education PTA

Service to Special Education - Cheril Phillips

Red House

Eagle Pointe Elementary School 

Educator of the Year – Eva Lawrence

Friend of Education – Maria Koziel

Freedom Elementary School

Teacher of the Year - Nancy Trusk
Staff Member of the Year - Serena Heiser

Support Staff Member of the Year - Jacqueline Beatty-Hobbs
Volunteer of the Year - Audi DeLaPaz

Lincoln Elementary School

Distinguished Service Scroll- Paula Wrobel

Distinguished Service Scroll- Kim Nelson

Book of Recognition- Mary Kelly 

Book of Recognition- Ebie Johnson

Life Membership Award- Danielle Ivins

Laura Fahrner Award- Tracy Scherry

Laura Fahrner Award- Andi Vanderhoek

Educator of the Year- Ashley Maro

Walker’s Grove Elementary School

Educator of the Year – Megan Goolsby

Educator of the Year – Karen Domabyl

Lifetime Volunteer – Sharon Lenning

Parent Volunteers of the Year – The Brown Family

Heritage Grove Middle School

Heritage Grove Husky Pride Award – Jennifer Shern

Heritage Grove Influential Educator – Jennifer Elliott

Heritage Grove Influential Educator – Scott Oldaker

Heritage Grove Influential Educator – Rose Simonelli

Richard Ira Jones Middle School

Eagle Pride Staff Appreciation Award: Haley Bork

Eagle Pride Staff Appreciation Award: Patti Moore

Eagle Pride Staff Appreciation Award: Amanda Piscitelli 

Eagle Pride Staff Appreciation Award: Carrie Rogus

Eagle Pride Staff Appreciation Award: Jan Skeen

Eagle Pride Friend of Education Award: Kevin Hales

Eagle Pride PTO Lifetime Award: Leticia Tassone

Plainfield North High School 

2014 Tiger Award - Rachyl Stephenson

2014 Tiger Award - Dana Rabulinski

2014 Tiger Award - Steven Pyter

2014 PTSO Award - Lisa Arteaga


Blue House


Charles Reed Elementary School


T.H.A.N.K.S. Award: To Honor and Notice Kindness

T.H.A.N.K.S. Award: Mr. Dave McCracken

T.H.A.N.K.S. Award- Mrs. Sidney Minnick

T.H.A.N.K.S. Award- Mrs. Cheryl Czyzewicz

T.H.A.N.K.S. Award- Ms. Katie Michaelsen

T.H.A.N.K.S. Award- Mrs. Laura Oliver

D.A.D.D. Award Dedicated and Deserving Dad Award

Achievement Award- Mr. Joe Lindsey

Achievement Award- Diane Allen

Distinguished Service Scroll- Mrs. Yesenia Ibarra

Distinguished Service Scroll- Mrs. Portia Gallegos

Educator of the Year- Mr. Steve Schultz

PTA Lifetime Achievement Award- Dawn Sodt


Meadow View Elementary School


Educator of the Year 2013- 2014 - Lindsey Pilmer

Educator of the Year 2013 – 2014- Mary Sue Larson

Deserving Dad Award 2013 – 2014- Joseph Kozar

Deserving Dad Award 2013 – 2014- Ray Garner

Anna Rivera – Mustang Pride Award 2013 – 2014 Meadow View Elementary

Michelle Burnett – Mustang Pride Award 2013 – 2014 Meadow View Elementary

Anna Assaf – Outstanding Volunteer/PTO Support Award 2013 – 2014 Meadow View

Lora Horvath - Outstanding Volunteer/PTO Support Award 2013–2014 Meadow View

Chuck Bennett – Honorary CAPE award name change to “The Mr. Chuck Mustang Pride Award”


Ridge Elementary School


Outstanding PTO contributer- Amy Abrew

Outstanding PTO contributer-Linda Mireles 

Educator of the Year- Sandi Reader

Friend of Education- Janet O’Leary

Outstanding Father of the Year- James Gerdich


Thomas Jefferson


Educator of the Year- James Houston

Resource/Support Educator of the Year-  Nicole Sourek

Distinguished Staff Service-  Cheryl Tutt

 “Magnificent Mom” Volunteer of the Year-  Audra Marino

 “Dynamo Dad” Volunteer of the Year:  Fred Brandt



Wesmere Elementary School


Marc Hanouw- Community Partner of the Year

Community Partner of Wesmere- Corey Hromek

Educator of the Year- Tracy Hood

Educator of the Year- Jeanne Wlodarski

Support Staff of the Year- Akninder “Bindy” McDowell

Volunteer of the Year- Ed McVay

Volunteer of the Year- Mary Nichols

Volunteer of the Year- Mindy Scaglione


Aux Sable Middle School


T.H.A.N.K.S. Award: To Honor and Notice Kindness

  • The 2013-2014 PTO Board

o   Debbie Sihweil, President

o   Laura Rock, Co Vice President

o   Steve Cammack, Co Vice President

o   Melissa Jung, Secretary

o   Sandra Cabrera, Treasurer

Bulldog Pride Appreciation Award-Mr. Alfonso Lopez

Bulldog Pride Appreciation Award-  Mrs. Laura Niznik

Bulldog Pride Appreciation Award: Jacqualyn Seeman

Bulldog Pride Appreciation Award: Mrs. Candace Coppes

Bulldog Pride Appreciation Award- Mr. Brennan Rooney

Bulldog Family Service Award- Mr. Jim Kubinski

Educator of the Year: Mrs. Carrie Offerman

Lifetime Achievement Award: Mrs. Sue Raslowsky

Drauden Point Middle School

Panther Pride Staff Appreciation Award Winners

Tim Placher

Audrey Sapp

Linda Soriano

Panther Program Award Winner:

Miriam Neugebauer-

PTO Lifetime Achievement Award Winner- Wendy Krutulis

Plainfield South High School

Cougar Pride Award-  Mary Mendoza

Cougar Pride Award- Karen Hahn

Cougar Pride Award- Heather Viall

Cougar Pride Award- Maureen Miller

Cougar Pride Award- Bob Yanello

Green House

Central Elementary School 

Distinguished Service Scroll- Kathy Papesh

Staff Member of the Year- Rich Charnicky

Volunteer of the Year- Dianne Rutherford

Educator of the Year- Nicole Staffacher

Educator of the Year- Nicole Trachsel

Outstanding Male Role Model- Jim Woltman

Crystal Lawns Elementary School

Distinguished Scroll Award- Ann Barnoski

Life Membership Award- Rachiel Buerger

Life membership Award- Laura Dvorak

Grand Prairie Elementary School

D.I.C.E. Award- Liz Vargocko

D.I.C.E. Award- Lynaris Colon

D.I.C.E. Award- Laura Klima

D.I.C.E. Award- Paula Wrobel

Wildcat Award- Lynn Cihlar

Wildcat Award – Carol Luthanon

D.A.D.D. Award – Paul Cavenaile

PTO Lifetime Award – Ann Brooks

PTO Lifetime Award – Betsey Vinson

River View Elementary School

PTO Life Membership Award – Bob Dockendorf

PTO Life Membership Award – Michelle Delgado

PTO Life Membership Award – Amber McKenna

PTO Life Membership Award – Cheryl Pieper

PTO Distinguished Service Scroll Award – Marysue Lessner

PTO Distinguished Service Scroll Award – Jodi Oliver

PTO Distinguished Service Scroll Award – Dawn Bjorklund

Indian Trail Middle School

Office Staff Person of the Year – Diana Luciano

Distinguished Female Teacher of the Year – Jessica Pierce

Distinguished Math Teacher of the Year – Eric Boe

Educator of the Year – Melissa Aubuchon

Support Staff/Volunteer of the Year – Lisa Bischoff

Indian Trail Middle School Spirit Award – Laurie Davidson

Timber Ridge Middle School

ABCD Award – Susan Behun

Life Time PTO Award - Paulette Hanton-Brooks

Timber Wolf Pride Award - Karen Chearo

ABCD Award - Katelyn Fuchs

Plainfield Central High School

PTSO Award – Karen Hamilton

Stephen Hunt Award – Bridget Taylor

Stephen Hunt Award – Judy Link

Stephen Hunt Award – Benjamin Nugent

Orange House

Creekside Elementary School

PTA Lifetime Membership Award: Cindy Maki 

PTA Service Scroll Award: Beatrice Milano 

Creekside Cheetah Award: Polly Opiola 

Educator Appreciation Award: Donna Spillie

Elizabeth Eichelberger Elementary School

Amanda Adducci-4th grade teacher

Anne Savickas-nurse

Bess Eichelberger Elementary Volunteer Award:

  • Amy Draper-principal secretary
  • Dwight R. Diercks
  • Eileen Diercks

Lakewood Falls Elementary School

Educator of the Year Award:  Judith Justis

Educator of the Year:  Becky Keefner

Outstanding Service:  Randy Douglas

Outstanding Service:  Jonathan Karwacki

Outstanding Service:  Eulalia Hernandez

Dedicated Service:  Cindy Gallick, RN

PTA Appreciation Award:  Kendra Weaver

PTA Appreciation Award:  Assunta Goldman

PTA Appreciation Award:  Steve Goldman

Liberty Elementary School

Teacher of the Year: Carla Brinker

Support Staff of the Year: Alyson Angeloni

Parent Volunteer of the Year: Jackie Riaz

John F. Kennedy Middle School

Support Staff Award- Marianne Miller

PTA Lifetime Award Recipient-Caitlin Tremble

Role Model Award-Justin Greene

PTA Educator Award- Stacey Christos

Falcon SPIRIT Award

Plainfield East High School

Jackie Bowbin-Stump

Toni Campagna

Ken Connor

Elaine Diveley 

Rhonda Hendrickson

Brian Gier

Tim May 10, 2014 at 10:43 AM
Life in a bubble goes on - It is sickening to watch Bonuchi try to use this as some sort of political stepping stone. Who cares what the director of technology thinks? Someone at the helm during multiple website hacks, security violations, and attempts to gain personal info of website visitors is not someone that should be speaking on behalf this district. Oh, but I almost forgot, her husband is the president of the school board. Meanwhile, D202 can't even prepare its students for college, or a competitive marketplace in the rest of the world. The only awards that should given out, are when D202 finally stops playing politics with the children it is tasked to serve. The handful of good people that work for this district are being overshadowed by the massive incompetence of this little group of PTRO clowns that are driving the district into the ground. One day, hopefully before the damage is spreads even further, the well-deserving staff will realize they are being played for fools by the PTRO, and vote them out of having anything to do with this district ever again. In the rest of the world, patting each other on the back doesn't actually get you anywhere in life.
Tammy May 10, 2014 at 05:48 PM
Tim...you are SO correct. So very correct!


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »