DEF Presents 2017 Scholarships

The DeKalb Education Foundation was honored to present $30,000 in scholarship awards to deserving DeKalb High School students as part of Senior Awards Night on May 24, 2017. Board members Sheryl Nakonechny and Julie Suter proudly represented DEF part of our Scholarship Committee at the ceremony. You can check out photos of all the award winners in this online gallery.

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Lisa Lenz Wins 2017 Wirtz Award

Lisa Lenz, special education teacher at Brooks Elementary, was surprised on Wednesday, April 12th at an all-school assembly with the news that she has been selected as the 2017 winner of the Wirtz Award. The Wirtz Award is presented to one District 428 teacher each year to honor their excellence as an educator. Lisa is pictured with her husband and getting a hug from her daughter, as well as receiving her award plaque and some flowers. Congratulations to Lisa from everyone at the DEF!IMG_1658 IMG_1665

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DEF Scholarships Due March 10th

DEF Scholarships are due to the DeKalb High School Student Services Office by March 10th.

See Kathy Cebulski, DeKalb High School counselor, for more information.


Are you an athlete, soccer player or a musician?
Check out this scholarship which is given to four seniors:
Emmette and Kathleen Land Memorial Scholarship: DEF Land Application 2017
The Christopher E. Anderson Memorial Scholarship is given to a senior: DEF Anderson Application 2017

Are you thinking about becoming an elementary education teacher?
See the Sharon L. Rosenow Memorial Scholarship, which is awarded to two students: DEF Rosenow Application 2017

Working toward a four year degree?
The Beatrice M. Stankus Memorial Scholarship and the Keith and Viella Glidden Scholarship are for you:
DEF Stankus Application 2017
DEF Glidden Application 2017

If a two or four year college is in your future plans, the Thomas R. Rauman Memorial Scholarship or Evelyn S. Nelson Scholarship could help out four seniors:
DEF Rauman Application 2017
DEF Nelson Application 2017

Or you could apply for the DHS College Support Scholarship: DHS College Support Scholarship Application

If you received special education services, the Steven Streb Memorial Scholarship could help you further your studies: DEF Streb Application 2017

Good luck with your future plans!

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How to Nominate Your Colleague for the Wirtz Award (due February 24th)


  • At the beginning of February, choose your nominee who has been exemplary in inspiring students and/or promotes a program that lifts students’ sense of human values and purpose as proposed by the Wirtz family for this award
  • Notify your nominee of your nomination
  • Complete nomination form
  • Solicit three (3) letters of support for your nominee from colleagues, family and/or students.
  • Submit the nomination form and 3 letters to Jennie Hueber, Education Center, by Friday, February 24, 2017 at 5:00 p.m.

The Wirtz Committee will review all nominees and notify you if your nominee is selected the week of March 20th.

Winning Nominee

  • You and your school principal will arrange for a surprise announcement for your nominee the week of April 10th. Contact Sheryl Nak,, with your plans so a committee representative can be present.
  • The Wirtz Award plaque and honorarium will be presented to the nominee at the May school board meeting.

On behalf of the Wirtz Committee, thank you!

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DEF Dedicates New Plaque to Honor Winners of the Wirtz Award

The DeKalb Education Foundation is proud to introduce a new plaque honoring all of the winners of the Wirtz Award for Excellence in Education. The plaque will be displayed at the DeKalb Education Center. Please stop by to have a look at the best of the best from District 428 going back to 1989.

The plaque reads, “The Wirtz Award was established to honor the memory of William Wilbur Wirtz, Alfa White Wirtz and Jeann Sohner Wirtz, for whom education in the DeKalb community was a lifelong interest and commitment.

“It is made available annually to recognize the distinguished service of an outstanding District 428 staff member who raises young people’s sights and/or who promotes a program or organization that lifts students’ sense of human values and purpose.”

The Wirtz Award plaque, which lists all of the outstanding educators who have won the annual award since 1989.

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Liz McKee Wins the 2016 Wirtz Award

Congratulations to Liz McKee, 7th grade resource teacher at Huntley Middle School, on winning the 2016 Wirtz Award.  Liz was honored at the District 428 Board of Education meeting on May 3, 2016. She is seen here with Jan Nelson (left), a fellow nominee for this year’s Wirtz Award.


Liz was first informed of her award and surprised with a bouquet at Huntley Middle School.

Liz McKee with the bouquet of flowers given to her for winning the 2016 Wirtz Award.

Liz is seen here with all of her nominators.

Liz McKee with her nominators for the Wirtz Award.

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Dugan and Henning Receive 2015 Wirtz Award

The DeKalb Education Foundation is proud to announce the winners of the 2015 Wirtz Award for Excellence in Education:

Cindy Dugan
Guidance Counselor
DeKalb High School

Martha Henning
Special Education Resource Teacher
Littlejohn Elementary School

Wirtz Award winners Cindy Dugan (left) and Martha Henning (right) with DEF Wirtz Selection Committee Chair Carol Naylor (center).
Wirtz Award winners Cindy Dugan (left) and Martha Henning (right) with DEF Wirtz Selection Committee Chair Carol Naylor (center).
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Photos from the Grant Award bus tour October 2014

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