Cheryl Ricciardi Exceptional Student Services Award

The Cheryl Ricciardi Exceptional Student Services Award honors a school-level student service worker who exhibits extraordinary dedication to students.

The award is given annually at the Board of Excellence Awards ceremony in the spring.

The award is named for the late social worker, Ricciardi, who worked in District 202 beginning in 1996 until she lost a courageous two-year battle with breast cancer in 2012.

She worked at all school levels, but her passion was working with high school students, said Crystal Lawns Elementary School Social Worker Cindy Cook, who helped to organize the award.

 During her District 202 career, Ricciardi also initiated several unique programs including an after-school breakdance group for at-risk teens; the Catalyst Program to all District 202’s high schools; and the annual yellow ribbon run to raise money for Suicide Awareness.

 Ricciardi also presented at professional workshops and continued to work after getting ill with dignity, grace, courage, and tremendous strength, Cook said.  She believed all students are extraordinary, Cook said.

 "This award honors people who share and demonstrate that belief every day," she said.

photo of Cheryl Riccardi