BATAVIA, IL — Batavia High School’s college and career counselor is looking to lift the spirits of her coworkers. To do so, she created a program that allows parents and students to nominate staff who have made a positive impact.
“I knew many of my colleagues were struggling, and their cups were empty following the pandemic,” Paige Buttels said of the “Nominate a Batavia HS Staff Member” program, created in September 2021.
Buttels decided to add a column in her monthly newsletter sent to students and parents to bring in the submissions.
“I also knew our staff members were truly amazing, but they were not getting enough positive feedback,” she said in a statement.
Batavia High School Principal JoAnne Smith shows her support for the program by going into the classrooms of nominated staff to “let them know how special they are,” according to Batavia School District 101 officials.
“An admin and I set up times (based on each teacher’s schedule) to go into staff offices/classrooms & surprise them, letting them know a parent or student nominated them as someone who goes above/beyond, and we thank them for being awesome in front of their classes,” the principal said in a news release.
The criteria for recognition is simple: Does the staff member demonstrate kindness or go above and beyond? The appreciation can go to a teacher, administrator, school psychologist, social worker, campus monitor, cafeteria worker, custodian, library specialist or “anyone that has had a positive impact on you.”
So far, local parents, guardians and students have submitted 56 nominations to the program.
To a form can be found on the district’s website.,