Return to Headlines

Illinois State Board of Education Those Who Excel Program 2018-2019 Awardees

SD 308 Community Unit School District


Media Alert

For immediate release


Contact: Theresa Komitas

Phone: (630) 636-3660



Illinois State Board of Education

Those Who Excel Program

2018-2019 Awardees


  Those Who Excel Award Winners with Dr Sparlin and Mike Wayne



Oswego, Ill. (October 24, 2018) — Oswego Community Unit School District 308  was once again well represented at this year’s Those Who Excel banquet Saturday, October 20th at the Marriott Bloomington-Normal Conference Center in Normal, Illinois.  The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) presented awards to top educators, school district personnel, and school volunteers, recognizing individuals and teams for their invaluable contributions to their schools and communities.


Awards of Excellence, Meritorious Service, and Recognition are presented in seven categories: school administrator, school board members/community volunteer, educational service personnel, student support personnel, team, early career educator, and classroom teacher. A selection committee comprised of individuals who represent a variety of educational organizations evaluate the nomination materials.

Congratulations to this year’s District 308 award recipients:


Dr. Patti Marcinko received the Award of Excellence in the category of administrator forPatti Marcinko her role as Student Services Department Chair at Oswego High School. Dr. Marcinko has not only worked hard to cultivate an effective work environment where staff put students first, but has also built a family where staff in the Student Services department support each other as well.  She serves on multiple building and district level committees that are propelling the district forward in an effort to support our students and provide them with a comprehensive education to not only be successful academically, but personally and socially.  She makes every person feel welcome, safe and at home and sets the precedent for the Student Services department and every department in the building on how to model leadership, resilience and positivity.


Karen Ferguson received the Award of Merit in the category of Classroom Teacher for Karen Ferguson her role as an English teacher at Oswego High School. Ms. Ferguson understands each student’s academic and emotional interests, needs, and challenges which enables her to work equally well with students in her English I freshman survey course as well as her Advanced Placement tiered students.  She instills in her students a sense of purpose both personally and academically with her innovative style of teaching.  She has the ability to organize and energize students and staff and challenge one out of their comfort zone to create truly unique and fun experiences inside and out of the classroom.


Rebecca Corradi received the Award of Excellence in the category of Educational ServiceRebecca Corradi Personnel for her role as the district’s lead transportation dispatcher. Ms. Corradi ensures the safe transportation of thousands of students each and every day with the utmost care and comfort.  She listens intently to each concern or issue while maintaining a positive, calm and supportive demeanor.  To her peers, she is an invaluable mentor through her impeccable work ethic, outstanding organizational abilities, and overcoming challenges no matter how large they are.  She recognizes that getting students to their events on time and without stress is one of the components of their overall success as high school students.  She always makes students feel as if their transportation needs are her top priority.


Paul Magnuson received the Award of Recognition in the category of Student SupportPaul Magnuson Personnel for his role as a sign language interpreter at Prairie Point Elementary School. Mr. Magnuson is one of the most highly certified interpreters who works for SD 308.  He accompanies students with hearing loss into regular education classrooms and signs what the teacher says.  He has the ability to adjust his signing to each student’s ability. Mr. Magnuson is often called upon to assist with students who are in crisis or in need of additional supports as well.  During these situations, administrators rely on him to voice to them what the student is signing to him. Paul brings dedication and expertise to our staff and students on a daily basis.


Oswego High School English Learner Team received the Award of Merit in the team English language learner Team category. Members of the team are: Jacklyn King, Brenna Murphy, Maureen Terwelp, Lirio Ramirez, Jeffrey Schneider, Dr. Patti Marcinko, and Marycruz Velazquez. The Oswego High School English Learner program began in 2014 with one teacher and 24 students; today it has grown to become an integral part of the school and includes 64 students,four teachers, one teaching assistant and two counselors.  A few of the examples that the EL team has been able to offer include:  professional learning to colleagues, outreach to EL families, and college visits for EL students.  Some of the best examples of how the EL team has worked with students to ensure they have the opportunity to acclimate and grow include:  partnering with the World Languages Department to offer the Seals of Biliteracy program; providing students and content area teachers with the support needed for effective, caring teaching; and providing students books from their own personal libraries.  The personal compassion, professional talent, and focus on students’ needs have become the hallmarks of the English Learner Team.


To see a list of all the state winners go to under Those Who Excel.