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Mission Statement: District 88 mission: To work for the continuous improvement of student achievement. Through that mission, District 88 schools have been named as Top Schools in America by Newsweek and the Washington Post.


District 88 honored with two state-level INSPRA Distinguished Service Awards

On May 5, District 88 was honored with two Distinguished Service Awards (DSA) from the Illinois Chapter of the National School Public Relations Association (INSPRA).

Team category – Award of Excellence: Friday Night Connect

Nan Marcum with St. Paul Lutheran Church in Villa Park and Willowbrook Social Worker Erik Engel accept a Distinguished Service Award from the Illinois Chapter of the National School Public Relations Association (INSPRA) on May 5. Marcum and Engel are part of the Friday Night Connect group, which won an Award of Excellence in the Team category.

Alarmed by the epidemic of opioid use by preteens and teens in DuPage County, Willowbrook High School, the Villa Park/Lombard Clergy Association, the Villa Park Police Department and local governmental officials came together to develop a program that would provide students in sixth through eighth grades with a safe place where they could relax with their peers and take part in exciting activities to help them make positive decisions.

That initiative, called Friday Night Connect, launched in October 2016 and takes place one Friday a month during the school year. Along with games and food, each session also consists of a seasonal “secret topic,” where the students come together and complete an activity based on a given theme. Topics have included appreciation, gratitude and setting goals. Participants are mentored by a group of about 15 Willowbrook students, who help guide each meeting (along with adult supervision).

When walking into a Friday Night Connect session, there is an atmosphere of inclusion – high-schoolers sharing a pizza with middle-schoolers, clergy leaders chatting with students and police officers playing games with participants. The impact of Friday Night Connect is immediately clear – participants truly connect and build a support system to guide them toward a successful future.

To read the full winning entry, go to https://www.dupage88.net/site/public/files/?item=3431.

Faculty/Licensed Staff category – Award of Excellence: Sheri D’Ambrose

Addison Trail physical education teacher Sheri D’Ambrose accepts a Distinguished Service Award from the Illinois Chapter of the National School Public Relations Association (INSPRA). D'Ambrose won an Award of Excellence in the Faculty/Licensed Staff category.

Once a year, the field house at Addison Trail is transformed into the ultimate track and field event with a long jump and a sprinting area; the studio theatre is turned into a karaoke concert; and the gym is filled with moon jumps and games.

That transformation takes place for the West Suburban Conference (WSC) Sports Spectacular. Founded in 1994 by a group of WSC athletic directors, the day is meant to give students with special needs an opportunity to participate in various athletic activities.

About 10 years ago, Addison Trail physical education teacher Sheri D’Ambrose took on hosting that event with a vision of adding more activities to include even more students and to make the day a fun-filled celebration. From organizing volunteers and donations to making sure all rooms and events are ready to go, D’Ambrose coordinates all aspects of this event to make sure her vision becomes a reality each year. All 14 high schools in the West Suburban Conference participate in the event, which involves more than 700 students making new friends, participating in athletics and having fun.

“I just love seeing the smiles on the students’ faces,” D’Ambrose said. “To give these students a day that’s happy and upbeat, where they can just have fun and participate in activities they might otherwise never get to try, is so important and such an amazing feeling. There’s nothing like it.”

To read the full winning entry, go to https://www.dupage88.net/site/public/files/?item=3432.

INSPRA annually sponsors the DSA event to honor deserving education staff and supporters of local school districts. This statewide program recognizes stakeholders who fulfill their role as public relations ambassadors for education. This year, DSA recipients were honored during a luncheon on May 5 at Bolingbrook Golf Club.

DuPage High School District 88
2 Friendship Plaza Addison, IL 60101
Phone: 630-530-3981 Fax: 630-832-0198
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