District #7 Honors Employees at Awards Banquet

Edwardsville Community Unit School District #7 honored several of its outstanding employees, recognized the contributions of those employees with 25 years of service, and bid farewell with a salute to its retirees on Thursday night during its District Awards Banquet.  

The event was held at the SIUE Meridian Ballroom and included comments from Superintendent Dr. Patrick Shelton and Board of Education President Jill Bertels. Dr. Shelton and Dr. Adam Garrett, Assistant Superintendent of Personnel presented awards.  

19 employees were recognized for 25 years, while 24 employees were honored for their upcoming retirement.  

Honorees included teachers, principals, custodians, cooks, paraprofessionals, and so many others who help make District #7 an outstanding place for adults to work and students to learn.  

Individual award winners included:  

  • Shelby Summer, EHS math teacher, selected as Rookie of the Year | VIDEO
  • Ana Gill, Cassens secretary, selected as Educator of the Year (classified staff) | VIDEO
  • Gretchen Hertz, Woodland 3rd grade teacher, selected as Educator of the Year (certified staff) | VIDEO
  • Melissa Edwards, Nelson principal, selected as Administrator of the Year | VIDEO


25-Year Honorees 

  • Tracey Armon, Head Cook (Lincoln Middle School) 
  • Robert Canada, 5th Grade Teacher (Columbus Elementary) 
  • Stephen Chapman, Social Studies Teacher (Liberty Middle School) 
  • Alex Fox, Athletic Director (Edwardsville High School) 
  • Tara Fox, Director of Curriculum (Central Office) 
  • Tim Funkhouser, Health/PE Teacher (Edwardsville High School) 
  • Michelle Herman, Elementary Technology Specialist (Cassens Elementary) 
  • Jane Hicks, Social Science Teacher (Edwardsville High School) 
  • Emily Kobler, Special Education Teacher and Instructional Technology Coach (Liberty Middle School) 
  • Laura Laswell, Paraprofessional (Lincoln Middle School) 
  • Jennifer Mulvihill, Social Worker (Woodland Elementary) 
  • Colleen Ogden, Elementary Technology Specialist (Columbus Elementary) 
  • George Patrylak, Special Education Teacher (Edwardsville High School) 
  • Michael Rockwell, 4th Grade Teacher (Woodland Elementary) 
  • Marcy Savoie, Reading Specialist (Columbus Elementary) 
  • Sherri Schafer, Social Studies Teacher (Liberty Middle School) 
  • Dr. Cornelia Smith, Director of DEI and Elementary Education (Central Office) 
  • Traci Thompson, Language Arts Teacher (Lincoln Middle School) 
  • Dr. Andrew Williams, Assistant Principal (Woodland Elementary)

Retiree Honorees 

  • Sally Atwood, School Counselor (Edwardsville High School) 
  • David Boedeker, Science Teacher (Edwardsville High School) 
  • Nancy Gebhart, Media Secretary (Liberty Middle School) 
  • Donna Gray, Secretary (Cassens Elementary) 
  • Rebecca Green, Secretary (Edwardsville High School) 
  • Sue Grubaugh, Attendance Secretary (Edwardsville High School) 
  • Yvonne Hallemann, Elementary Physical Education Teacher 
  • Lynley Harrison, 2nd Grade Teacher (Leclaire Elementary) 
  • Rebecca Holle, Family and Consumer Science Teacher (Edwardsville High School) 
  • Annie Jones, Head Cook (Liberty Middle School) 
  • Theresea Laako, Business Teacher (Edwardsville High School) 
  • David Lewis, Social Worker (Edwardsville High School) 
  • Stacey Lipe, Math Intervention Specialist 
  • Diana Lockwood, Language Arts Teacher (Liberty Middle School) 
  • Mike McGarr, Math Teacher (Liberty Middle School) 
  • Donald Mendoza, Spanish Teacher (Edwardsville High School) 
  • Toni Peitzmeyer, Secretary (Leclaire Elementary) 
  • Melissa Potvin, Special Education Teacher (Nelson Elementary) 
  • Dr. Beth Renth, Principal (Worden Elementary) 
  • Mandie Schulte, Secretary (Success Academy) 
  • Ruth Shipley, Preschool Teacher (Goshen Elementary) 
  • Christopher Spencer, Custodian (Edwardsville High School) 
  • Patricia Steinbech, Paraprofessional (Cassens Elementary School) 
  • Darlene Wessel, Bookkeeper (Liberty Middle School) 


Rookie of the Year Finalists (awarded to an individual in their first or second year in public education) 

  • Shelby Summer, Math Teacher (Edwardsville High School) 
  • Payton Carlton, Special Education Teacher (Woodland Elementary) 
  • Brendan Sulley, 4th Grade Teacher (Columbus Elementary) 

 2023 Rookie of the Year: Shelby Summer 

2022-2023 Rookie of the Year: Shelby Summer


Educator of the Year Building Winners (Classified) 

  • Ana Gill, Secretary (Cassens Elementary) 
  • Brittany Burke, Food Service Secretary (Central Office) 
  • Mary Jean Breeden, Secretary (Columbus Elementary) 
  • Karen Govreau, Receptionist (Edwardsville High School) 
  • Beth Pollock, Secretary (Glen Carbon Elementary) 
  • Kristin Griffin, Paraprofessional (Goshen Elementary) 
  • Arthur Byrd, School Safety Officer (Hamel Elementary) 
  • Bionca McCarter, Paraprofessional (Leclaire Elementary) 
  • Nancy Gebhardt, Media Secretary (Liberty Middle School)
  • Linda Davis, Evening Custodian (Lincoln Middle School/Central Office) 
  • Darren Brown, School Safety Officer (Midway Elementary) 
  • Scot Ambuel, School Safety Officer (Nelson elementary) 
  • Lisa Hale, Food Service (Woodland Elementary) 
  • Alana Henfling, Paraprofessional (Worden Elementary) 

2023 Educator of the Year: Ana Gill 

2022-2023 Educator of the Year – classified: Ana Gill


Educator of the Year Building Winners (Certified) 

  • Patty Odom, 4th Grade Teacher (Worden Elementary) 
  • Gretchen Hertz, 3rd Grade Teacher (Woodland Elementary) 
  • Cari Wencewicz, Reading Specialist (Nelson Elementary) 
  • Staci Kyro, 2nd Grade Teacher (Midway Elementary) 
  • Denise Downes, Social Worker (Lincoln Middle School) 
  • Jenny Guetterman, 6th Grade Teacher (Liberty Middle School) 
  • Lynley Harrison, 2nd Grade Teacher (Leclaire Elementary) 
  • Kelly Ackerman, Kindergarten Teacher (Hamel Elementary) 
  • Lynne Kusnerick, Nurse (Goshen Elementary) 
  • Tonya Holmes, 2nd Grade Teacher (Glen Carbon Elementary) 
  • Sairee Knabe, Social Science Teacher (Edwardsville High School) 
  • Rob Canada, 5th Grade Teacher (Columbus Elementary) 
  • Bethany Riechmann, Special Education (Cassens Elementary) 

2023 Educator of the Year: Gretchen Hertz 

2022-2023 Educator of the Year – certified: Gretchen Hertz


Administrator of the Year: Melissa Edwards, Principal, Nelson Elementary 

2022-2023 Administrator of the Year: Melissa Edwards




25-Year Honorees




Rookie of the Year finalists

Educator of the Year (classified) – building winners


Educator of the Year (certified) – building winners