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May 10, 2023 / District

VPEA names Those Who Excel Awards

Congratulations to Desta Wenzloff, Kim Cuccinotto, and Alison Gardiner, who were each named “VPEA Those Who Excel” for 2022-23 by the Villa Park Education Association (VPEA).

Each spring, VPEA members nominate individuals for the (certified staff) Teacher of the Year, (non-certified staff) Support Personnel of the Year, and (community member) for Community Member of the Year. A VPEA Selection Committee reviews nominations in April to determine winners.

North School Literacy Leader Desta Wenzloff was named “Teacher of the Year” for the 2022-23 school year. From Desta’s colleagues:

  • Desta always goes above and beyond for her students and our school. She is the kind of person who is always thinking about what more she can do or how she can help.
    Andrea Paris, North Social Worker
  • When I think of Desta, I think of humility. As hard as she works, she never takes credit for all that she does for us. She always finds a way to praise others for their contribution.
    Melissa Davey, 4th Grade Teacher

York Center School Secretary Kim Cuccinotto was named “Support Personnel of the Year” for the 2022-23 school year. From Kim’s nomination:

  • Kim’s presence has made such a difference to York Center. She is a ray of sunshine no matter what is going on. She is able to communicate with so many different people in such a positive and affirming way that makes everyone feel heard and appreciated.
  • She has purposely and intentionally added her special touch to YC in order to make it the place we want to be every day. I personally feel very fortunate when I see her smile or hear her laugh every day. YC wouldn’t be what it is without her.

AlisonParkview Community Church Collective Director Alison Gardiner was named “Community Member of the Year” for the 2022-23 school year. Alison serves at Schafer Elementary, North Elementary, and Jefferson Middle School. From Alison’s nomination:

  • Alison’s dedication to Schafer seems to know no bounds. She is constantly reimagining how she and her Parkview Volunteers can meet the diverse needs of our students through ever-changing times.
  • As soon as restrictions were lifted, Alison was in the works with Principals to get her and the volunteers back into the buildings. Last year, volunteers started back by reading with our students who had some catching up to do. This year, Alison has further expanded her presence at Schafer by leading interest groups during lunch to help students connect with one another and practice social-emotional skills. She does this all while raising three little ones and being the Parkview Collective Director.

Desta, Kim, and Alison — thank you for your commitment and excellence in our schools. We appreciate all you do for our community, schools and students. Congratulations!