Return to Headlines

Illinois Art Education Association Recognizes Oswego East and Oswego High as Schools of Distinction

SD308 Community Unit School District

Media Alert
For immediate release

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


Illinois Art Education Association Recognizes
Oswego East and Oswego High as Schools of Distinction

Oswego East Staff   Oswego High School Staff

Oswego, Ill. (September 21, 2021) — The Illinois Art Education Association (IAEA) recently recognized Oswego East High School and Oswego High School as 2021 Schools of Distinction. This is the inaugural year of this award. This recognition celebrates schools with rigorous art, design, and media education programs.


To earn the School of Distinction Award, both Oswego East and Oswego High evidenced practices directly reflecting the Illinois Professional Teaching Standards, the Illinois Fine Arts and Media Standards, and Social-Emotional Learning Priorities. Excellence in programming begins with high-quality curriculum, instruction, and assessment.  It provides students direct, authentic engagement with the creative sector, and includes the engagement of students with the art, design, and media education community.


Participating in high-quality art, design, and media courses develops student creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, and communication skills in valuable ways. “Our students need the arts in their lives to not only survive the ways in which many of their lives have been upended, but to thrive,” indicated the Illinois State Board of Education Priority Learning Standards (2020-21). Students in these programs gain social and emotional skills along with college, career, and citizenship readiness. Research indicates that schools with successful programs like those offered at both Oswego East and Oswego High experience increased student attendance, engagement, and academic performance when compared with schools that don’t.


Excellence in programming is driven by educators that are deeply engaged with broadening their expertise, through participation in communities of practice and by seeking out content specific professional development and training. The IAEA is proud to honor from Oswego East the following: Heather Stanich, Lauren Schmidt, Laura Cavanaugh and Lisa Cook and from Oswego High: Michael Skura, Aaron Kolkay, Dan Whipple, and Jennifer Nagle for the distinguished programming and the significant opportunities offered to their students. Oswego East High School is led by Laura Bankowski, principal; Oswego High School is led by Chris Grays.


For more information regarding IAEA, please visit: