Celebrating Our Journey


Without question, the pandemic has taken an incredible toll on so many aspects of our lives. Individuals of all ages, families across our community, and Antioch CCSD 34 students and staff have experienced many, many losses as a result of the virus, mitigations, quarantines, and all that has come with these unprecedented times and challenges. Acknowledging, naming, and grieving our losses is important and a critical part of the healing process. 

At the same time, healing can come in the form of reflecting on the opportunities the past year has presented us with and celebrating the accomplishments, achievements, successes, growth, people, and stories of the pandemic. As we look around, there is so much to be proud of, recognize, and appreciate. In this edition of Connections, Antioch CCSD 34 would like to take the opportunity to use the theme of “celebration” to highlight, share, and show our gratitude for a few of the acts, events, journeys, and experiences that have defined our response to a difficult and demanding time in all of our lives. 

As we share just some of the amazing stories, we know there are many others deserving of being told and recognized, as well. We thank all of our stakeholders for their continued support, partnership, work, and inspiring perseverance. You are all amazing and we are deeply grateful for each one of you. 

The first set of celebrations we would like to offer are part of a recognition program through the Illinois State Board of Education. Since 1970, ISBE has had a program to recognize Teacher of the Year, Outstanding Early Career Educator, in addition to, award recipients in five categories through the Those Who Excel program:

The Illinois State Board of Education has sponsored Those Who Excel to honor individuals who have made significant contributions to our state’s public and nonpublic elementary and secondary schools. Awards are presented in five categories: school administrator, student support personnel, educational service personnel, community volunteer and teams. Nomination materials are evaluated by a selection committee comprised of individuals who represent a variety of educational organizations.

Antioch CCSD 34 had building and department leaders nominate deserving candidates in each of the seven categories and a selection committee determined who the final District nominees would be for state-wide nomination and potential recognition. We are extremely proud of and grateful for these individuals and their contributions to our students, families, schools, and district: 

Teacher of the Year Program:

  •  Teacher of the Year: Becky Ingrum Gifted Teacher/Hillcrest
  • Outstanding Early Career Educator: Courtney Rieb 4th Grade Teacher/WC Petty 

Those Who Excel:

  •  School Administrator: Josh Coon Assistant Principal/Antioch Upper Grade School
  • Student Support Personnel: Alison Mlyniec Nurse/WC Petty
  • Educational Service Personnel: Sue Jorgensen Special Education Assistant/Mary Kay McNeill ELC
  • Community Volunteer: Melissa Seiler Booster President/Oakland
  • Team: Mary Holsinger and Julie Byczek Transportation & Food Service/Antioch CCSD 34

Congratulations to these nominees and good luck in the state-wide selection process! 

Please have a great summer and know how excited we are to kickoff the 2021-22 school year! 

Be and Stay Well,

Dr. Bradford Hubbard
Antioch CCSD 34