Parents, former students, and community members share their thoughts
"Although the bell may ring, and the students may go home, teachers never cease thinking of ways to motivate and inspire - never stop trying to spark curiosity, hope, and the idea that with hard work, anything is possible. A teacher can take the raw material of the human condition and inspire greatness, shake loose dreams, and change lives. Teachers are truly the foundations of our everything - of everyone. They are forming, informing, and inspiring everything of what tomorrow will bring."
Jorian Lewke, Crystal Lake Central class of 2014
"I firmly believe that I have been able to achieve my academic and professional successes due to the strong foundation built during some of the most formative years of development....To provide such a robust, comprehensive education to future graduates of schools in District 155, the district must continue to provide adequate resources and support to the educators of our children."
Meghan Burks, Prairie Ridge class of 2008
"I could talk about the wonderful faculty at CLS indefinitely and still not be able to fully express the impact they’ve had on me, my family, and my friends. They are talented, caring, and a community that encourages students in all endeavors."
Rose Gerszewski, Crystal Lake South class of 2012 and MIDN in the United States Navy
"The relationships between students and teachers at Central high school has inspired me to want to become a teacher and form these types of relationships with my students. I look forward to Thanksgiving break and Christmas break because it means I can visit them. It’s not just one teacher or certain teachers from one department - there was at least one teacher from every department that made me feel safe, confident, and encouraged me to succeed. Without them, I don’t think I would be where I am today in life."
Jackie Kisman, Crystal Lake Central alumn
"It's hard to truly express everything that these teachers have meant to me, my family, fellow classmates, and the community through an email. These teachers put their hearts and souls into this "Job" for the compensation they receive. If it were up to me, I would raise the pay these teachers receive. With test scores at all time highs and the continued graduation rate and number of students that decide to continue their education, the district continues to produce well rounded community members."
Jean Celestin, Crystal Lake Central class of 2010 and Insurance and Risk Management major at ISU
"Jerry Thiel, [my former English teacher], once wrote a recommendation letter for me, in which he stated, 'An investment in Ushma's future is an investment in our future.' Today I am grateful to have the opportunity to say: A continued investment in our District 155 teachers and coaches is an investment in our future."
Ushma Patel, Crystal Lake Central class of 2010
"I wouldn’t be the person I am today without the guidance, support and help these teachers dedicated not only to me but many of their students."
Eden Ruch, Prairie Ridge class of 2006
"D155 has some of the best educators I have ever come across. Not only are they well qualified in their subject to teach but go above and beyond the call of the classroom. Many are sports coaches, directors of ensembles or stage productions, and some aid in academic clubs that gives knowledge a competitive outlet....the faculty we have in place are here for a reason. They continuously go above and beyond academic needs and are willing to go beyond the classroom for a student in need. These characteristics should not be taken for granted...our faculty deserve the best because they are among the best."
Amy Mullard, Crystal Lake South alumn
"I would not be the person I am without them in my life at an absolutely critical and pivotal time. I owe them all, because without them, I don’t think I would have discovered my own passion for education."
Katelyn Wilhelmi, Cary-Grove class of 2007
"[The teachers] shared life stories that were full of wisdom and encouraged us to make good decisions each and every day....[and] made me interested and passionate about learning and molded me into the student that I am today. Without them, I would have gotten 'weeded-out' through the tough pre-requisite classes for my Biology major, but I learned great study techniques and ways to cope with stress in high school that got me through my challenging first year. I can honestly say the teachers I had in high school were some of the best teachers I will ever have. I am so grateful for the time I had with them at Prairie Ridge and have finally realized the value of the things that I learned in high school."
Valerie Voce, Prairie Ridge class of 2012
"Currently, I’m in my last year of my masters program to become a Physician Assistant at Marquette University, which is one of the top PA programs in the country. I received two full ride scholarships to Marquette: National Health Service Corp Scholarship for my masters degree of Physician Assistant Studies and Chick Evans Scholarship for my bachelors degree in Biomedical Sciences....I share my accomplishments with you not to boast, but rather to illustrate the journey I’ve had that started 9 years ago in the halls of Crystal Lake South High School....I’m confident that [the teachers'] exceptional efforts towards high quality education paved the way for my successes today."
Janelle Smith, Crystal Lake South class of 2008
"It is clear that each teacher is not just in class to meet a test score goal, but to grow strong, successful adults.... they are teaching the whole person....not just the student who makes a few too many quips in class, but the witty young man looking to share his view of life in a unique way; not just the kid who does well on standardized tests, but the student who struggles to demonstrate that potential within the confines of a desk and chair. They know our sons, and they know themselves. You see, because these teachers are whole and bring all that they are to school each day, they are teaching their students to do the same. District 155 has done a fantastic job in hiring excellent teachers."
Jean and Mark Des Biens, Prairie Ridge parents
"At age 14 my mother walked out. Due to this fact my father went on a downward spin. I was completely and utterly lost....the staff that you have...are the ones that literally saved me and turned my life around. These people don't just teach, they guide, they worry, they listen, they support, they go so far beyond what they are obligated to do. Due to your staff my life has turned into something I never could have imagined."
Justin Olson, Cary-Grove class of 2004
"Retention of our dedicated teachers must be considered so that D155 does not lose them to other districts. Taxpayers are proud of our high school district and want to continue our long-standing tradition of 'doing what’s right for the kids.'"
Mark and Sara Dopke, Cary-Grove parents
"I would not be where I am today if it weren’t for the amazing faculty and staff at Prairie Ridge. I don’t believe I would have decided to major in education if it weren’t for the many teachers who inspired me and believed in me."
Ada Ramirez, Prairie Ridge class of 2013
"District 155 has many wonderful teachers and I am so happy that my son's life was touched in such a positive way..."
Mary Swisher, Cary-Grove parent
"A teacher with experience in the classroom, proven success with students, and a strong academic background from an accredited institution will make a difference in the lives of their students and in their communities. The reach of such a teacher will be unforeseeable and they will probably never know their true impact."
Ann S. Tucker, District 155 Parent
"The teachers of South truly care and work to develop the lives of each of their students... Their role goes beyond academics--they touch the students, their families, the community, the state, and wherever the students go in their lives."
Liz Agnes, Crystal Lake South class of 2008
"Those four years of support, knowledge, and growth were instrumental to my life. I truly believe that I would not be the person I am today, or choosing the career I am today without Prairie Ridge High School. The one thing I would have changed about my experience was telling these teachers how much they meant to me, and thanked them for being such phenomenal teachers."
Kelsey Mohapp, Prairie Ridge High School, class of 2010
"There is simply not much that our teachers wouldn't do for our kids. Yes, our kids. Even if you don't currently have children in any of the high schools, maybe you never have and never will, make no mistake about it, these are our kids. These are the kids who walk our streets, work in our businesses, and shop in our stores; they mow our lawns, babysit, deliver our pizza, and coach and mentor the younger kids. They are our kids, and they deserve our best without exception."
Angie Weaver, former District 155 employee
"I spent four years at Crystal Lake Central and am proud to say that the education I gained from attending that school has shaped who I am today, not only as a person, but also as a student. I can also say with confidence, eight years later that the teachers I had at Central are still some of the most influential educators that I have had, and I still keep in touch with them today."
Brooke Schuchert, Crystal Lake Central, class 2010
"I loved everything about Central, and everything I loved about CLC came from the amazing educators who work there. The educators of D155 are invaluable resources to our local community, and as I am setting out to go abroad, their reach is extending across continental borders. No fiscal value can be placed on the relationships these educators develop with their students and the lasting impressions that they make."
Jenna Larkins, Crystal Lake Central class of 2011
"I was always challenged, motivated, and encouraged to do my very best. I learned to look at life from all angles, and to appreciate the varied gifts and abilities of others.Cary-Grove High School and District 155 have been blessed by generations of a talented faculty and staff which contributes to the continuing success of their students, both in the high school years and beyond. They truly made a difference in me during a vitally important time in my life, and I know they will continue to do so for many coming generations of their students."
Matthew T. Frick, Cary-Grove class of 2002
"I have had the honor of speaking to numerous classes at Prairie Ridge High School where I have found polite, informed, inquisitive and motivated students who understand the value of an education, appreciate the academic gifts and respect the corps of honest, decent, honorable, intelligent, committed teachers from whom they have had the privilege of learning."
Kenneth Linde, Cary business owner
"As a senior in college I still find myself e-mailing high school teachers with questions or for support and they find the time in their busy lives to answer and provide that feedback or support. These teachers go above and beyond their call of duty and make sure that their students are succeeding. That is their goal; they want their students to excel. As a future teacher, I hope to be half of what my teachers were to me for my own students. It is very rare to go back to high school and have teachers remember you. The D155 teachers not only remember, but they are interested in where life has taken you and who you have become."
Kelli Lawless, Crystal Lake Central class of 2010
"Every teacher prepared me for the next stage in life academically, but more importantly, personally. They showed me how to be a better person, made me feel unique, supported my goals, and shaped me into who I am today. I could not thank each of them enough."
Maria Pauls, Crystal Lake South class of 2010
"They've helped [my daughter] identify her passion."
Elizabeth Walker, Crystal Lake Central parent
"Do not underestimate how important this is - these schools are something to brag about."
Jennifer Piacenza/Baranowski, Cary-Grove parent
"I have nothing but good things to say about the teachers in this district. They CARE. The way I feel is the teachers deserve exactly what they're getting plus more."
Edward Delaney, D155 parent
"These teachers care, and they are preparing us for the future. Your future."
Matt Torres, Crystal Lake Central class of 2013
"I was blessed to have not one but several outstanding teachers throughout my high school education. The teachers in D155 truly provide all the tools needed to be successful throughout high school and life thereafter, and then some! Their passion for their students is plain to see, and they are amazing role models for both academics and life skills."
Sara Davino, Prairie Ridge class of 2010
"My experience at Central was amazing. When I have children, I would love for them to have the same teachers that I had. Each and every teacher I had impacted me positively. They all fueled my passion for learning and are the reasons why I want to become a teacher. I only hope that one day I can be half as influential as the amazing teachers at Central."
Amber Wadas, Crystal Lake Central Class of 2010
"Students can either be stuffed with knowledge like sausages or a different approach can be taken. The students can also be seeded, like a grain of sand into an oyster, and helped to create their own pearls of knowledge and wisdom. This second approach creates something much more meaningful, and it’s no mistake that many teachers in District 155 choose this approach. It’s a lesson I’ll never forget."
Kent Cutler, CPA, Prairie Ridge class of 2002
"Teachers change lives. That alone is priceless."
Kera Sanchez, Prairie Ridge class of 2009
"They all spent countless extra hours before and after class answering my questions, and providing a surplus of tools and resources to help me learn, and created opportunities for me to succeed and showcase my abilities and hard work."
Edward Konopasek, Cary-Grove class of 2007
"Most of all, the teachers express the importance of learning, and they do so in a way that's unmatched by any other faculty and teaching staff that I've been mentored by."
Eric Jamnik, former Crystal Lake Central student
"I feel so lucky to have graduated from such a positive, caring, compassionate, and academically challenging high school."
Laura Mintert , Cary-Grove class of 2010
"In no other place could an investment in so few positively affect so many."
Jason Deal, Crystal Lake South class of 2003
"These teachers have gone more than “above and beyond”."
Roxanna Garcia, Crystal Lake Central class 2012
"Teachers in District 155 prove everyday through their educating that they’re worth supporting and retaining in order to continue the high level of education this district has been known to provide."
Julianna Silovic, Crystal Lake Central class 2012
"It would be a shame for future students to not be able to benefit from the same classes that I consider to be monumental in my educational and personal development."
Mariana Rockwell, Crystal Lake Central class 2011
"They give every student at Cary-Grove everything they can because that’s who they are. They are wonderful people who have changed my life and make a difference in the world by giving each student the support they need to go out in the world and make a difference themselves."
Margaret Duffy, former Cary-Grove student
"To them, their job does not end once the bell rings"
Mark Jimenez, former Prairie Ridge student
"The motivation that had been not only taught, but also demonstrated in and out of the classroom showed my fellow classmates and I how to become better as a whole."
James Voll, Prairie Ridge class of 2013