Romona's Alicia Wiechert Recognized with ISBE Award of Meritorious Service
Posted on 02/14/2024

Alicia Wiechert, Library Information Specialist at Romona Elementary School, was honored as the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) announced its Those Who Excel & Teacher of the Year awards. Wiechert was recognized with the Award of Meritorious Service, which honors educators who have deeply connected with their school community and made a positive impact. ISBE will celebrate Wiechert and all the 2024 honorees at a banquet on May 18 in Normal, Ill.

“I am so happy to see Alicia get recognized for her tremendous work,” said Dr. Kari Cremascoli, Superintendent of District 39. “She has inspired and encouraged those around her to be courageous and engaged learners. Alicia demonstrates a positive and innovative attitude in her professional responsibilities as well as a commitment to supporting a lifelong love of reading among all students and staff while promoting inclusivity, kindness and belonging for all. We are grateful for all of her work in the Romona and Wilmette communities and for her leadership amongst District 39 educators.”

During her 13 years at Romona, Wiechert has forged a special bond with her students, peers, colleagues, and the Mustang community. From her thoughtful arrangement of the school’s library and learning commons, to her supportive and caring demeanor, Wiechert has created a caring, supportive learning environment that fosters a rich sense of belonging. This commitment is enriched and enhanced by her work as a member of Romona’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) committee, and she uses her academic lessons to promote these values throughout the Romona learning community. 

In addition to her work in the library and learning commons, Wiechert has established herself as a leader and innovative thinker in District 39. Her work on Romona’s “One Book, One School” program has helped build community and connectedness through a shared literary experience and she successfully applied for a grant which brought storyboards to the garden of each of D39’s four elementary schools. These storyboards display a variety of story books that students can enjoy during recess while also providing an opportunity for families to explore and enjoy these stories together outside of school hours.   

“Alicia is a leader at Romona, inspiring us all to consider the impact of literature on our students,” said Cindy Anderson, Romona Principal. “She engages in meaningful discussions with the staff and community on how to ensure that all students are included and belong. She is a trusted teacher to her students and creates a safe place where all students feel comfortable to be themselves. Alicia exemplifies the characteristics of this award and we are so proud that she has been recognized for all of her incredible work for the Romona community.”