World Changer Awards

The District 181 World Changer Awards: A Celebration of Exceptional Employee Achievements


To celebrate and acknowledge the outstanding work of District 181 employees.


The District 181 World Changer Awards is a program to specially recognize the above and beyond contributions of D181 teachers, support staff, and administrators. These awards are intended to celebrate truly exceptional work that was so impactful it "changed the world" of a student, colleague, family, or the community at large in a positive and deeply meaningful way. The program is a collaboration with the D181 Foundation.

Eligibility and Nominating Process

  • Any staff member of District 181, except the Superintendent and Director of Communications, is eligible to receive a "World Changer Award," including part-time employees. Winners from 2016-17 are not eligible to win in 2017-18. (A list of past winners is available at the end of this webpage.)
  • Nominations are accepted via the official online form, submitted in the time period specified below.
  • The nomination form can be submitted by any community member of District 181, including parents, students, staff, residents, and local employees and volunteers. An employee cannot nominate himself/herself.
  • The form requires the nominator's name, contact information, and role in the District. Forms cannot be submitted anonymously. More than one person can contribute to a single nomination; names of additional nominators can be entered in the form field where indicated. The form requires an essay (minimum 200 words, maximum 500 words), which describes how the employee provided an above and beyond contribution that was "world changing" within the District 181 community.

Timeline and Winner Selection

  • The 2018 nomination period will be open January 22, 2018 through March 23, 2018.
  • A selection team will complete a review of the submissions no later than April 13, 2018. The selection team will include the Superintendent, the Director of Communications, and two D181 Foundation Board Members. The selection team members may not submit a nomination. Prior to the start of the selection process, the Superintendent may consider adjustments to the selection team at his/her discretion.
  • If the same employee is nominated via multiple submissions, all submissions will be considered together in determining winner selection. (The receipt of multiple submissions for a single individual will not increase the likelihood of that person being selected.)
  • Winners will be selected based on the information presented in the submitted form(s) describing how the nominee has demonstrated, in concrete and specific ways, how he/she was a "world changer."
  • Up to ten employees may receive a World Changer Award per school year. There may be more than one winner from the same school.
  • The selected winner(s) will be notified via a surprise announcement in April 2018.
  • Winners will be formally recognized on Monday, May 21, 2018. Winners will receive up to $300 to be used for professional development and/or supplies and materials related to District work. Winners will additionally each receive a $75 check to be used at their discretion. Prizes for winners are being provided through the D181 Foundation.Staff members who are nominated but not selected will receive a copy of the nomination submitted on their behalf and a letter from the Superintendent acknowledging their contributions to the District.

Prizes for winners are being provided by Hinsdale Bank & Trust, a partner of the D181 Foundation.

Award Winner Announcements for 2016-17

HMS Building Engineer Tomas Rios
Award photo

Oak School Social Worker Carmel Finnegan
Award photo

Elm School Secretary Edie SharkeyAward photo

Monroe School 1st Grade Teacher Sue OlivaAward photo

CHMS Social Worker Ele Santini (Left)Award photo

CHMS Social Studies Teacher Meghan Carey (Center)Award photo

D181 Band Teacher Laura Stibich

Award photo

CHMS 7th Grade Teacher Jeff DeGraffAward photo

Walker School Resource Teacher Dorothy Krumin
Award photo

Walker School Speech Pathologist Natalie Felix
Award photo

Awards News

The nomination period for 2017-18 is open now through March 23, 2018!


Please contact the Communications Department with any questions about the World Changer Awards program.