Elgin News Digest: South Elgin kindergarten teacher wins 2024 Golden Apple Award; local historian to conduct Saturday tour of Elgin’s Hilltop Cemetery; motorcyclists sought to escort ‘Wall That Heals’ on ride to West Dundee

South Elgin kindergarten teacher wins 2024 Golden Apple Award

Aimee Legatzke, a kindergarten teacher at Fox Meadow Elementary in South Elgin, is one of 10 Illinois teachers to have received a 2024 Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching.

The Golden Apple Foundation, an Illinois-based nonprofit committed to preparing, mentoring and honoring great educators, selected the winners from among more than 600 nominations of Pre-K-3rd grade teachers, a news release said.

“These exceptional educators have demonstrated an unwavering commitment, innovative spirit, and transformative influence on their students and school communities,” foundation president Alan Mather said in a statement.

Legatzke was described as “a student-centered educator who goes above and beyond to understand the unique needs and backgrounds of each student in her care.” She was credited with building strong connections with her students and their families.

“Through parent/student meetings held before the school year begins, she gathers valuable insights into each child’s learning style, potential challenges, current academic levels, and parental goals, using this information to inform her approach throughout the year,” the release said.

“Legatzke’s dedication to her students extends beyond the initial meetings, with ongoing engagement and progress monitoring throughout the academic year. Her ability to identify and address both social-emotional and academic needs underscores her commitment to the holistic development of every student.”

Each award recipient receives a $5,000 cash award and a spring sabbatical provided by Northwestern University at no cost, the release said. They also become Fellows of the Golden Apple Academy of Educators, which plays an important role in preparing the next generation of teachers in the Golden Apple Scholars and Accelerators programs.

Local historian to conduct Saturday tour of Elgin’s Hilltop Cemetery

Bill Briska, a local historian, will hold a guided tour of Hilltop Cemetery in Elgin from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, May 11.

Now accessed from the Elgin Sports Complex, the cemetery at 875 Sports Way is the final resting place for 974 people who lived at the former Elgin State Hospital for whom other burial arrangements could not be made, according to the Elgin History Museum website.

For more information and to register, go to elginhistory.org/event/hilltop-cemetery-tour-with-bill-briska.

District U-46 sets high school graduation schedule at NOW Arena

School District U-46 will be holding commencement ceremonies for its class of 2024 on Saturday, May 25, at NOW Arena in Hoffman Estates.

Each of the five high schools will be assigned an allotted time for its individual graduation event:

  • Bartlett High School: 8 a.m.

  • Larkin High School: 11 a.m.

  • Streamwood High School: 2 p.m.

  • South Elgin High School: 5 p.m.

  • Elgin High School: 8 p.m.

For information about parking, live streaming of the ceremonies, and the entrance times for guests and graduates, go to u-46.org/classof2024.

Motorcyclists sought to escort ‘Wall That Heals’ on ride to West Dundee

Organizers for “The Wall That Heals” traveling exhibit coming to Wesd Dundee are seeking motorcyclists to escort the display as it makes its journey from Woodstock on Wednesday, May 22.

“The Wall That Heals” exhibit is a three-quarter scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans War Memorial and a mobile education center, which will be open for public viewing from May 22 through Memorial Day, May 27 in Randall Oaks Park at 750 Randall Road.

According to True Patriots Care, the organization behind the project, the motorcycle escort will start at 3:30 p.m. at Woodstock Harley-Davidson, 2235 S. Eastwood Drive, Woodstock. The ride will honor POWs and MIAs still missing from the Vietnam War.

The fee to take part in the ride is $40, with proceeds going to first responder organizations.

To register or for more information, go to truepatriotscare.com.