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District 202 is seeking nominations for the 9th annual Cheryl Ricciardi Exceptional Student Service Award, which honors a school-level certified student service worker who exhibits extraordinary dedication to students.

 Parents, community members, students, and district staff may nominate any certified Student Services employee from any District 202 school for the award.

 The award will be given out during the Board of Education’s Awards of Excellence ceremony on April 2.

 The online nomination form can be found here.

 Nominations must be received by 5 p.m. Monday, March 4, 2024. This deadline will not be extended.

 Ricciardi started working in District 202 in 1996 as a social worker. She lost a courageous two-year battle with breast cancer in 2012.

 She worked at all school levels, but her passion was working with high school students, said Crystal Lawns Elementary School Social Worker Cindy Cook, who helped to organize the award.

 During her District 202 career, Ricciardi also initiated several unique programs including an after-school breakdance group for at-risk teens; the Catalyst Program to all District 202’s high schools; and the annual yellow ribbon run to raise money for Suicide Awareness.

 Ricciardi also presented at professional workshops and continued to work after getting ill with dignity, grace, courage, and tremendous strength, Cook said.  She believed all students are extraordinary, Cook said.

 “This award honors people who share and demonstrate that belief every day,” she said.

 Previous winners include:
 2016 – Stacey Harrison, Plainfield North High School
2017 - Kelly Hinthorn, Wesmere Elementary School
2018 - Mary Ellen Miller, Plainfield Academy
2019 - Kim Simpson, Plainfield South High School
2020 - Paula Wrobel, Central Elementary School
2021 - Amanda Lulek, Ridge Elementary School
2022 - Shannon Edmondson, Central Elementary School
2023 – Mariah Zwart, Lakewood Falls Elementary School

Cheryl Ricciardi