2022-2023 District Retirement Recognitions

Happy last day of school! As is tradition, we would like to take a moment--on behalf of the District--to recognize and congratulate eight staff members on their retirement from the Shorewood School District. The group has a combined total of 204 years of service, which is incredible, and we are so grateful for their dedication to our students, families, and schools. They will be greatly missed.

[Pictured l to r: Tony Seidita, Cathy Daniels, Deb Schwinn, John Jacobson, & Cheryl Sawdy; not pictured: Christine Albrightson, Julie Bennett, and Vince Peterson.]

Below are some wonderful sentiments from colleagues about this year’s retirees.

Christine Albrightson (PE Teacher)
Christine served the District for 16 years.
Christine has dedicated her life to educating the students at Lake Bluff, Atwater, SIS and SHS, and making their lives better through exercise and movement. Since 1999, she has laid the groundwork for knowledge and enjoyment of games and sports in the District. She always had a smile in her eyes and was ready to have a positive impact on her students. As the PE teacher, she knows most students in the building and they all love her dearly. The number of things Christine has done for our schools is innumerable. She always had a great memory, remembering exactly what students needed to succeed in her class, and she was always up-to-date on current trends in PE and willing to share with her colleagues.  Her colleagues say that they have learned a lot from her over the years and that each year they’ve felt refreshed by her new ideas. Christine is very vested in her students, and, because of this, students always thrived in her class. Students and staff alike loved being around her and she will be sorely missed. Congratulations on your retirement, Christine!
Julie Bennett (Special Education teacher)
Julie served the District for 26 years.
Julie is a kind and thoughtful educator who was very determined in her work and always made it a priority to get to know her students and families extremely well, so she could fully support them both personally and academically.  She always kept her students' best interests at heart and worked to ensure their success in and out of the classroom.  Some of the adjectives that have best described Julie have been: resourceful, creative, and inventive. She was always willing to adjust programming and/or strategies for a student until she found what will work best for them, even if it meant taking extra time out of her days. Additionally, Julie was always open to positive, honest, and sincere dialogue which helped not only her students but the teachers that she supported. Atwater staff have always trusted Julie immensely and cared what she had to say. She served as a positive role model for all and Atwater staff have been so lucky to have her serving alongside them all these years. She will be missed. Congratulations Julie!
Cathy Daniels (Math Interventionist/Title 1 Math teacher)
Cathy served the District for 26 years.
Cathy was known for being a very kindhearted, thoughtful, and caring teacher and friend. She was a wealth of knowledge for her colleagues, having known all the inner workings and history of Atwater Elementary, and colleagues always joked that she was “the reigning queen of scheduling.” Many say that Atwater continued to thrive--especially during a few challenging years--in large part because of Cathy's expertise and her commitment to the school. Cathy always truly cared about each of her students and, while she held high academic expectations for them, she was also very committed to learning about who they were as a people outside of school. As for staff, if they ever had an issue, Cathy was a “go to” person they could rely on, always will to listen, see situations from all sides and give sound and thoughtful advice. Colleagues share that Cathy was an amazing mentor, who helped younger teachers grow and flourish with her guidance. Not only have staff and students been fortunate to know Cathy all these years, but Atwater families as well and she will be dearly missed. Congratulations Cathy!

Lake Bluff
Cheryl Sawdy ( Special Education aide)
Cheryl served the District for 22 years.
Cheryl has had a huge impact on the lives of her students both inside and outside of the classroom. Her warm heart and compassion for her students was something that made her a standout educator and she formed strong relationships with each of her students built on trust and expectations. She truly got to know each student–what interests them, what brings them joy, what frustrates them, and what helps them to feel safe and supported. And she always impressed her colleagues with the attention she paid to students as individuals, the patience and care she took in getting to know them, and the value she placed on them becoming the best people they can be. Cheryl wrapped herself around student strengths and used them to support students in growing their confidence and skills. She was known to be kind yet firm and had a great sense of humor that puts kids (and adults!) at ease. She also possessed the unique paired traits of being simultaneously empathetic and clear eyed. She made deep, authentic connections with students, families, and colleagues alike, listening deeply and giving everyone the opportunity to learn and flourish. She's left a huge impact  and her absence will be keenly felt. Congratulations Cheryl!
John Jacobson (Social Studies teacher) 
John served the District for 34 years.
An award-winning educator, John has been a cornerstone of the SHS Social Studies department for an incredible 34 years. During this period—in which he has seen SHS go from having no computers in the school (1989) to being one-to-one today—John has taught European Studies, American Society, Multicultural America, World Studies, Title I, African Studies, American Government, and Political Theory to name a few. Outside of the classroom, he has served as the head coach for boys/girls track and field teams and girls cross country as well as advisor of Mock Trial, "Creativity Seminar," Airsoft Club, and Random Acts of Kindness Club. In fact, there’s not a lot he DIDN’T do during his time in Shorewood! Additionally, John wrote his own textbook for his American Government course, and he taught the only game theory-based high school Political Theory class in the US which has been a student favorite for years! John’s sharp wit and humor made him endearing to both colleagues and students alike, and his talkative, easy-going nature made people drawn to him. He has been a tremendous asset to the Shorewood learning community and will be deeply missed. Congratulations John!
Vince Peterson (PE teacher) 
Vince served the District for 26 years.
Vince Peterson wore many hats in the Integrated Wellness Department at SHS over the years. He was a teacher, coach, counselor, comedian, handyman, carpenter, colleague, mentor, department chair, fundraiser and finally a friend to many - staff, students and parents alike. He was dedicated and committed to his profession. He loved what he did and it showed daily. He enjoyed his students and worked hard to provide a positive learning experience for them. Vince is very creative and was always inventing new ways to teach activities or learn new concepts in the classroom. He strived to keep the curriculum current and innovative. Vince was a “behind the scenes” type of teacher who worked hard to move the department forward but never looked for any public accolades. He spent several years as the boys varsity basketball coach at SHS. He spent many hours fundraising so his teams could play holiday tournaments in California. Vince was also a practical joker and was known to pull a few pranks on his colleagues from time to time. His positive work ethic along with his sense of humor will very much be missed! Congratulations Vince!
Deb Schwinn (Social Studies teacher)
Deb served the District for 15 years.
Having entered the field of education later in her professional journey, Deb Schwinn has been both an exceptional teacher of almost every course offering in the SHS Social Studies department and a tireless advocate for what is best for her students. For 15 years, Deb has inspired students to pursue their passions through her infectious love and remarkable knowledge of anthropology, law, history, and politics. As the long-time teacher coach, Deb served a key role in turning the SHS Mock Trial program into a perennial powerhouse having won State and gone to Nationals three times during her tenure. Deb is adored by her students as evidenced by the way they interact with her inside and outside of the classroom and the popularity of her courses and clubs. She is also a huge inspiration to her colleagues who have been so fortunate to have worked with her since 2008. You could always count on Deb to be fun, feisty, sarcastic, and the life of the party and her absence will be felt widely. We will miss her dearly but look forward to hearing about her upcoming adventures! Congratulations Deb!
Tony Seidita (Director of Building & Grounds) 
Tony served the District for 38.5 years.
During his career, Tony was known for operating the pools, being the resident “key guru,” general maintenance worker and ending his nearly 39 years as the Facilities Manager. As a Shorewood grad, community member and employee, Tony took pride in his vast knowledge in the history of the buildings. One of his biggest joys was to mentor his employees and share his wealth of facilities knowledge with his colleagues. Safety and accessibility for all that were on campus was a top priority for Tony, as well as keeping historical elements of the buildings intact. This showed through in what the facilities department was able to accomplish – especially these last few years – and we are grateful to Tony for his efforts on this front. His workday never ended with the school day and his dedication to the operations of the District often had him working around the clock, even from states away while on vacation. He made himself available to all that needed assistance and made sure to pass every bit of knowledge on to the department to set them up for success long term. He will be missed but his legacy will live on.  Congratulations Tony!

To all of these wonderful staff members I just mentioned, we thank you again for going above and beyond during your time with the District. You will be greatly missed!