At its meeting on Sept. 10, the Elwood Board of Education recognized four outstanding individuals for their unwavering dedication to the Elwood community. Congratulations to Lisa Gorman, Donna Kelly, Donna Scudieri and Dianne Wilkinson for earning 2020 Awards for Excellence from SCOPE Education Services.
Ms. Gorman and Ms. Wilkinson, both recent retirees, were unable to attend the meeting; however, the board did not allow for their contributions to go unnoticed. For 21 years, Ms. Gorman served as an ENL teacher at Elwood Middle School, where she worked diligently to advocate for her students and encouraged them to strive for excellence. She was also instrumental in implementing the Teachers College Reading, Writing program.
“Lisa is highly respected by her colleagues, administration, students and community members,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth Bossert said. “She is a leader, mentor and friend to all.”
Ms. Wilkinson, the district’s former executive director for special education, left big shoes to fill upon her retirement last year. For 30 years, she has tirelessly dedicated herself to serving the district’s special education students. Her efforts and dedication led to the implementation of programs, such as Life Skills, Job Coaching and she was instrumental in the creation of the Alternative High School for secondary students with school phobia.
“Elwood students with the greatest needs have their greatest advocate in Dianne Wilkinson,” Dr. Bossert said.
Following those remarks, both Mrs. Kelly and Ms. Scudieri were invited on stage and were presented with plaques commending them for their service to the district. For more than a decade, Mrs. Kelly has generously volunteered her time as a member and former president of the district’s Special Education Parent Teachers Association. For years, she has organized fundraisers, secured informative speakers for students and families and fostered activities to build a support network for parents of students with special needs.
“She believes in the district’s focus on the whole child and supports programs that promote inclusion and equity,” Dr. Bossert said.
At the meeting, Assistant Superintendent for Business Lorraine Dunkel thanked Ms. Scudieri for being her “right hand woman” for over 19 years. As the district’s account payable clerk, Ms. Scudieri is responsible for processing invoices, as well as assisting with all purchase orders. She also serves as the president of the Secretarial Association and has worked closely with district administration to promote positive working relationships. Her colleagues describe her as a “true professional who brings honesty, integrity and an incredible work ethic to her position.”