Addison Trail honors 2013 Tradition of Excellence recipient

On Nov. 5 and 6, Addison Trail alumna Lori Rackl shared with students and staff what it takes to achieve your goals and how Addison Trail helped her find the path to success.

Rackl was honored as Addison Trail’s 2013 Tradition of Excellence recipient, which is the highest award presented by Addison Trail to its graduates. Initiated in 1999, this annual alumni recognition program has honored 18 recipients in professional fields such as medicine, engineering, science, education, art, music and law. To be considered for the award, applicants must have graduated from Addison Trail more than 10 years ago; distinguished themselves in academic, artistic, business, professional, entrepreneurial, or public service; demonstrated an ability to serve as an outstanding role model for current Addison Trail students; and performed services and/or accomplishments that have brought credit to their alma mater.

"I am honored to be the 2013 Tradition of Excellence recipient for Addison Trail," Rackl said. "I wouldn't be here without my parents, husband and the support of Addison Trail."

Rackl graduated from Addison Trail in 1987 and attended University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she graduated magna cum laude in 1991 with a degree in political science.

But Rackl found her true calling in journalism, and she has received multiple national awards during her 20-year career. She has written for a variety of publications, including “Reader's Digest” and newspapers throughout the U.S.

Rackl began her career at the Daily Herald and is now a TV critic for the Chicago Sun-Times. Before becoming the paper’s TV critic in 2011, Rackl spent several years as the Sun-Times Sunday Travel editor. She also penned a weekly travel column and visited more than 60 countries.

"I took advantage of every class I could get at Addison Trail, and I tried to study, do my homework, show up for class and pay attention," Rackl said. "It was simple, but it paid off in good grades, which helped me later in life. For students, I can't recommend getting involved enough. Take advantage of things your high school and college have to offer, and don't let any opportunity pass you by."

During the Tradition of Excellence presentation, Rackl’s former German teacher Terry Bachus shared memories of Rackl as a student, and her husband, Chris Fusco, spoke about her brilliant career and how they met through a shared love of journalism. Rackl also spoke with students who are interested in pursuing a journalism career, as well as students who plan to attend University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

To see the program from the Tradition of Excellence presentation, go to