Two District 117 Staff Take Home Honors

By Benjamin Cox on October 23, 2020 at 6:20pm

The Jacksonville Public Schools Foundation supports the annual Bill Russell Award each year for Excellence in Education. Russell was a pioneer in the field of instructional television when he joined District 117 in 1963. Rusell’s lifetime involvement in the district led to the award being set up and given to a person in the district annually for their education contributions.

The 2020 Bill Russell Award was presented last night at the Jacksonville School Board meeting to District Health Coordinator Cindy Weger for her outstanding contributions to keeping students healthy during the current pandemic. South Jacksonville Elementary Principal Tim Chipman presented the award to Weger last night.

Chipman says he and Weger have had a close professional relationship since 2014 and he’s experienced some of her contributions to students all across the district first hand: “I had the pleasure of working next to Cindy for 4 years at Jacksonville High School, and my appreciation for her has only grown. She not only cares for the students at the high school but also is the medical coordinator for the district. It goes without saying in these interesting times, Cindy has been a rock star and a lifesaver to us here in the school district.”

Weger will be awarded a small monetary award and a commemorative plaque from the district for her work.

Chipman also had the pleasure to distribute another award last night to South Elementary Secretary Rachael Jones. Jones was recognized by the Illinois State Board of Education with their Meritous Service Award.

Chipman says he is lucky to have Jones as a part of his staff at South: “Mrs. Jones undeniably has the students’ best interest at heart. She contributes greatly to the academic and social atmosphere that we are building at South Elementary.”

Chipman says Jones will be given recognition by ISBE in a virtual ceremony later this month.