The Homewood District 153 School Board presented math instructional coach Cathryne Czarnecki the Morin Award. It is the second time Czarnecki has won the honor. She previously received it as an outstanding math teacher and Response to Intervention (RTI) coordinator at James Hart School.
The Morin Award is given in honor of former school board member Jerry Morin, who always had a future vision and was an advocate for hiring and retaining the best and brightest staff in order to maintain the district’s tradition of excellence, said Board President Shelly Marks at the Jan. 9 board meeting.
Superintendent Scott McAlister said the award is the highest award the district presents to educators. Czarnecki was the 2022-23 district office recipient. The board presented the Morin Awards to teachers in October.
Czarnecki’s efforts also won her a Those Who Excel Award from the Illinois State Board of Education.
At James Hart, Czarnecki served as the RTI coordinator helping to organize special projects to help bring up students’ math scores. Now in the district-wide position Czarnecki is helping math teachers as an instructional coach at every level. Her work also includes examining data to follow a student’s progress, said Kathy Schaeflein, director of curriculum.
Although her focus is on interventions for students who need extra help, Czarnecki recognizes that students with accelerated math scores also can have special attention, so she routinely prepares packets to help improve a student’s skills to get their math work into a higher level.
She is known to come in early and stay late and makes a point of reaching out to parents. The work she does “is much more than any coordinator, instructional coach or data expert,” Schaeflein said, noting that Czarnecki is a District 153 graduate. She said “as one of our own, we’re so glad she’s here.”