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Those Who Excel Awards

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) sponsors the Those Who Excel program annually to honor individuals who have made significant contributions to schools. Awards are presented in one of the following categories: school administrator, student support personnel, educational service personnel, community volunteer, and teams. 

District 15 is proud to share the three meritorious service award winners in our District. 

Mary Beth Knoeppel









Mary Beth Knoeppel - Meritorious Service Award for Administrator 

Mrs. Knoeppel first joined the Lincoln staff as the Assistant Principal in 2005 before being promoted to Principal in 2011. Mary Beth Knoeppel has been an outstanding leader at Lincoln School for the past 16 years and although this will be her last year before she moves into a hard-earned retirement, the Lincoln School community as a whole will forever be positively impacted because of the work that she has done as a leader.


Winston Campus Culture & Climate Team









Winston Campus Junior High Climate & Culture Team - Meritorious Service Award for Team 

The Climate and Culture Committee at Winston Campus Junior High has been at the center of the efforts to turn around the learning environment at WCJH. The Climate and Culture Committee has been responsible for setting a school environment that promotes a “culture for learning.” During this pandemic year, the Climate and Culture team has gone above and beyond to connect both students and staff during a challenging time.


Danielle Guardino









Danielle Guardino - Meritorious Service Award for Educational Service Personnel 

Danielle Guardino has worked in various positions in the District, including accounts payable, payroll, accounting, and budgeting. Danielle has a strong willingness to accept any challenge presented to her and is a phenomenal team player that has been integral to the business office’s operations. Her positive demeanor, work ethic, and excellent accounting skills have helped her to excel while providing excellent customer service to those that she works with both within and outside of the business office.

The District had 16 nominations within our District, five of which were submitted for consideration. We are so proud of all of our employees and are especially excited to share these nominees for Those Who Excel.