Oak Park school custodian honored by state

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By Community Editor

(Courtesy Irving Elementary School PTO)

As you may recall, the Irving PTO nominated Mr. Frank DiPaolo last spring for the Illinois State Board of Education's "Those Who Excel Awards." Frank recently received word that he won an Award of Meritorious Service in the Educational Support Personnel Category of these awards.

Congratulations, Frank!

Here's an excerpt from his nomination:

While his official job title is 'Building Engineer,' to those of us in the Irving School community he is so much more.

All of the students know him, and he knows each of them, treating each student individually and with respect. In countless ways he shows dedication to our school above and beyond the norm. In academics, he has participated with students in extra-curricular Italian classes, played a critical role in the installation of solar panels, and mentored students who struggle with behavior. He goes out of his way to assist and develop relationships with our special needs students. In fundraising, he has offered martial arts instruction as a Silent Auction item, choreographed dance routines for many contests, and coordinated the set up of numerous special events. For school spirit, he has dressed as Elvis for an end-of-year celebration, leaving a legacy at Irving for years to come. Mr. DiPaulo is also an example to other maintenance staff, who are all so friendly and helpful to our students. He keeps our 100 year old building well maintained and welcoming.

In his 8 years at Irving (15 years in District 97), Mr. DiPaolo has become our school's backbone. Every day he supports our building, but more importantly, he supports our students. He is a key part of why they are excited to come to school each day and why they remember Irving so fondly after they graduate.

...Elvis would be proud...and we are too. Congratulations to Mr. DiPaolo!

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