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Prairie Point Elementary Teacher Receives The Military Patriot Award

 SD308 Community Unit School District


Media Alert
For immediate release

Contact: Theresa Komitas
Phone: (630) 608-5031


Prairie Point Elementary Teacher Receives The Military Patriot Award

Cynthia Niles     Cynthia accepting Military Award


Oswego, Ill. (November 5, 2020) — Oswego Community Unit School District 308 is proud to recognize Cynthia Niles, 4th grade teacher at Prairie Point Elementary School, for having recently received the  prestigious Military Patriot Award. This award acknowledges an outstanding, currently serving military member who has shown incredible courage and determination to fulfill his/her duties.  In addition, this individual works diligently to find ways to assure that services and support systems are in place for all military veterans both now and in the future.


Cynthia has been in the Air National Guard in Peoria for 27 years, currently as an Aircraft Maintenance Deputy Group Commander.  Once a month, during drill weekend, she can be found leading a couple hundred Airmen who work on C-130 Cargo Aircrafts.  It was at a very young age, when she first experienced an F-16 Fighting Falcon Aircraft fly overhead, that she developed her passion and realization that she would one day be a part of an organization that flies fighter aircrafts. 


She gives much credit for her ability to continue in the military to her husband, also a teacher in SD 308, who looks after everything, including their two children while she is gone.  It was during her deployment to Kuwait in 2005 that their then one-year-old daughter became seriously ill.  He took her to many of the doctor appointments in search of an answer to her health issues all by himself.  Cynthia believes he is her real hero and an integral part to her successful Air Guard career.


“I am very humbled and proud to have received this award,” said Cynthia.  “It is a rewarding experience being able to bring two generations (veterans and students) together.”  Once a year, Cynthia coordinates an all-encompassing Veteran’s Day Assembly where the veterans feel loved and appreciated.  She also has her students write letters to military members through the Writing Without Tears Program, write to deployed members of the Senior Center Veterans, and sing Happy Birthday to a WW2 veteran.  She has also been a liaison to three students’ families that have had deployed brothers during the time that they were in her class.


She has relied on her military training to get her through these current tough times and believes you need to rely on your family, friends and most importantly, your teammates.  Her focus this year with her students is to build on positive relationships and giving attention to those who need it.  “Don’t get overwhelmed with the unknown of how everything will work,” said Cynthia, “but work on building a positive rapport with those around you, including students.”


Congratulations, Cynthia Niles, on this achievement!