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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How to Nominate Your Colleague for the Wirtz Award for Excellence in Education


  • 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: Wirtz nomination form 2015-16
  • 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 26, 2016 at 5:00pm.

The Wirtz Committee will review all nominees and notify you if your nominee is selected the week of March 22nd.

Winning Nominee

  • You and your school principal will arrange for a surprise announcement for your nominee the week of April 12th. 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 April 19th school board meeting.

On behalf of the Wirtz Committee, thank you!

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2016 Scholarship applications are now available.

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 2016
The Christopher E. Anderson Memorial Scholarship is given to a senior: DEF Anderson Application 2016

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 2016

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 2016
DEF Glidden Application 2016

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 2016
DEF Nelson Application 2016

Or you could apply for the DHS College Support Scholarship: DHS College Support Scholarship Application 2016DHS College Support Scholarship Application

If you received special education services, the Steven Streb Memorial Scholarship could help you further your studies: DEF Streb Application 2016

Good luck with your future plans!

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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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Photos from the Grant Award bus tour October 2013

Dr. Briscoe Driving the DEF Award BusDEF outside of the bus

Mr. Neville DHS


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Schnuck’s Food and Beverage Tasting – Tailgating Style

Get ready for tailgate season! 

Please join us Thursday, August 29, 2013, from  5-7 PM

Schnuck’s Grocery
975 S. Annie Glidden Rd
DeKalb, IL 60115

Monetary donations will benefit DEF and donated canned goods will be given to the DeKalb County Food Pantry.


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Comedy Night on Friday April 5th 2013

Mark your calendars to SAVE THE DATE for DeKalb Education Foundation’s annual Comedy Night! On Friday, April 5, ComedySportz will be returning to the Egyptian Theatre for an evening of entertainment, showcasing the improvisational talents of the longest running improv group in Chicago. ComedySportz is known for their ability to engage the audience as they turn improv comedy into a competitive sport by encouraging audience participation. (Think Dr. Briscoe – Comedy Night 2011!)


The schedule for the evening is much the same as past Comedy Nights, however the format will differ slightly this year.  DeKalb Education Foundation (DEF) board members listened to the comments people have made with regard to Comedy Night;  in an effort to allow everyone to focus on the ComedySportz show, we have eliminated the silent and live auctions from this year’s evening.  With that in mind, the schedule is as follows: doors open at 7:00, with seating beginning at 7:30 until the start of the ComedySportz show at 8:00.  To add to everyone’s enjoyment, Fatty’s Pub and Grille will be hosting a cash bar in the theatre lobby beginning at 7:00 and continuing throughout the show.


The success of DEF’s fundraising is due in large part to the success of Comedy Night.  It is through fundraising efforts, such as Comedy Night, that DEF has been able to fund the many worthwhile grant requests that we receive.  We know these grant applications do not magically appear.  They are the result of hours of work by an educator who recognizes an opportunity to improve or enhance the educational experience for their students.


Together, we can have a significant impact on Comedy Night’s success.  We attempt to cover as many bases as possible in promoting Comedy Night through our publicity efforts, however, sometimes word-of-mouth is the most effective means of communication.  Through your interactions with parents and community members, you can help all of us by creating an awareness of the valuable contributions DEF has made to our schools.  And please encourage family members, friends, neighbors – even your students’ parents, to join you in attending a fun evening of entertainment in support of DEF.


Tickets for Comedy Night will be available beginning February 15, and can be purchased through the Egyptian Theatre box office, from any DEF board member, or at the door the night of the performance.  Tickets will be $25, and as an added bonus, any faculty or staff member that makes a payroll contribution to DEF during the month of March will have their name automatically entered into a drawing for 4 free Comedy Night tickets!


We look forward to seeing you on Friday, April 5, for an enjoyable evening of entertainment!  On behalf of the DeKalb Education Foundation, thank you for your continued efforts, your dedication, and your support.




Nancy Schelkopf

DeKalb Education Foundation Board Member

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Thank You to all that Supported or Attended Our Wine Tasting

DEF held a wine tasting at Schnucks on December 6, from 5 until 8PM.  The fundraiser was a wonderful success – not just financially, but also from the exposure we generated for DEF and the fun that everyone had!  It was truly heartwarming to see so many people attend in an effort to make this fundraiser a success.  The atmosphere was festive and the variety of food that Schnucks provided was delicious.  A big thank you goes out to Schnucks and their vendors for providing us this opportunity to raise funds for grants to the schools of District 428.  Also a thank you goes out to Sylvan Learning Center for donating $1 per ticket.

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