By Olivia Sabalaskey
Voting for the 10th District Leadership Awards has been extended to noon on Monday, Nov. 9, for a contest organized by the office of U.S. Congressman Robert Dold (R-10). Nominations were solicited throughout the month.
Of the 10 finalists for the various awards, four are from North Shore communities. They include:
Marcia Tazioli, a finalist for the Entrepreneurial Award from Highland Park, founded the Shri Yoga Center in Highland Park in 2011. She has provided jobs for 30 local women and has strengthened the community with her services. Her business is devoted to improving the health and wellness of everyone who walks through its doors. The Shri Yoga Center has worked with the Cancer Wellness Center, Prentice Women’s Hospital, the American Lung Association, the Moraine Township Food Pantry, and Beacon Place.
Paul Baffico from Lake Forest, is a finalist for the Helping Heroes Award. While suffering from PTSD as a Vietnam Veteran, he has used the experience as an incentive to help create and build a community in order to provide comfort and guidance for military men, women, and families. Paul was appointed chairman of the governing council for a 5-year federal grant and later created a foundation to improve Lake County’s response to service men and women and their families. The foundation now has a drop-in center where veteran peers greet and assist active duty, guard, reserve, veterans and their families.
Kirk Humphreys from Deerfield, is up for the Exceptional Educator Award. He is a teacher at Caruso Middle School and has made an impressive and powerful impression on the students. Kirk Humphreys “flips” the classroom by using video to share information with students at home and then he supports learning in class. Kirk’s classroom is highly engaging: students know they can count on Mr. H. and he uses technology to facilitate their learning. Kirk never uses a lecture style approach – he uses a personalized learning technique for all students every day.
Brian Floriani, from Lake Forest, was named a finalist for the Community Service Award. Floriani is the founder and executive director of Bernie’s Book Bank, which serves 110,000 at-risk children throughout Chicagoland with 12 quality books per year. By applying sound, logical business principles to the operations and structure of a non-profit, Floriani has inspired corporate and private supporters and partners. He believes strongly in ensuring at-risk children have every opportunity for success when they begin school through book ownership.
Here is a press release from Rep. Dold’s office about the awards program:
U.S. Congressman Robert Dold (IL-10) announced the finalists for the Tenth District Leadership Awards. The leadership awards recognize the everyday heroes that make our community an amazing place to live, work and raise children. Nominations were solicited throughout the month and online voting is now open through noon on Monday, Nov. 9 to select the winners.
“The Tenth Congressional District has many advantages, but undoubtedly our greatest resource is the people,” Rep. Dold said. “That’s what the Tenth District Leadership Awards is all about – recognizing the everyday heroes that make our community an amazing place to live, work and raise children.”
Click here to read about the finalists.
There are three ways people can vote and each person can vote in every category once per voting method. To vote, visit Rep. Dold’s website here.
Three finalists were recognized in each of six categories:
- The Entrepreneurial Excellence Award is given to a businessman or businesswoman who has demonstrated entrepreneurial excellence as part of a small business or start-up in our community that has succeeded in implanting innovative strategies to establish a thriving local business.
- The Helping Heroes Award is given to a resident of the Tenth District who has answered the call to help America’s heroes by bettering the lives of our veterans and their families. The nominee can be a veteran themselves or simply a dedicated community member.
- The Exceptional Educator Award is given to a teacher at any level who has dedicated themself to helping our students achieve success in and out of the classroom. This individual will have effectively implemented innovative methods in their classroom and created a positive learning environment.
- The Community Service Award is given to an individual who has positively impacted the welfare of our community through volunteerism. This individual will be committed to focusing on the needs of the region and enhancing the quality of life for members of our community.
- The Young Leader Award is given to a young person who has demonstrated leadership and is an outstanding example to their peers. This individual will have proven their exceptional character in their school and/or local community. Their leadership experience can come through a variety of different experiences, including but not limited to: athletics, arts, science, clubs, volunteering and academics.
- The Friend of the Environment Award is given to somebody who has worked diligently to keeping our air, water and habitat clean for future generations. This individual works to improve our environment and encourages others to join the cause.
The winners will be recognized at an awards ceremony on November 9. For more details and to vote, visit: dold.house.gov/leadership.
Written by Lake Forest High School freshman Olivia Sabalaskey during the Open Doors mentoring program on November 5