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Five educators across DeKalb County receive excellence in education awards

On March 11, the DeKalb County Community Foundation and DeKalb County Regional Office of Education recognized five educators during the Excellence in Education Awards reception at Kishwaukee College. Pictured (from left) are Andrea Qualls Laben, Genoa-Kingston Middle School teacher; Kara Christensen, Hiawatha Elementary School teacher; Tara Wilkins, Genoa-Kingston High School librarian; Mark Ekstrom, Southeast Elementary principal; Ashley McNurlan, James R. Wood Elementary administrative assistant; and Yvonne Johnson, donor.
On March 11, the DeKalb County Community Foundation and DeKalb County Regional Office of Education recognized five educators during the Excellence in Education Awards reception at Kishwaukee College. Pictured (from left) are Andrea Qualls Laben, Genoa-Kingston Middle School teacher; Kara Christensen, Hiawatha Elementary School teacher; Tara Wilkins, Genoa-Kingston High School librarian; Mark Ekstrom, Southeast Elementary principal; Ashley McNurlan, James R. Wood Elementary administrative assistant; and Yvonne Johnson, donor.

SYCAMORE – Five educators across DeKalb County were recognized for their A-plus work by county organizations Wednesday, according to a news release from the DeKalb County Community Foundation.

Kara Christensen, second-grade teacher at Hiawatha Elementary School in Kirkland; Andrea Qualls Laben, sixth-grade science teacher at Genoa-Kingston Middle School in Genoa; Tara Wilkins, librarian at Genoa-Kingston High School in Genoa; Ashley McNurlan, administrative assistant at James R. Wood Elementary School in Somonauk; and Mark Ekstrom, principal at Southeast Elementary School in Sycamore were all given 2019 Excellence in Education awards.

The awards were by the community foundation, as well as the DeKalb County Regional Office of Education at a special 20th anniversary Excellence in Education Awards reception at Kishwaukee College.

Each winner also received a $1,000 check, according to the release.

The Excellence in Education Awards were established in 1999 by retired Sycamore elementary school teacher Yvonne Johnson. The awards recognize educators, administrators and support staff countywide who have inspired a love of learning in students and play an active role in their schools and communities.

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