The McHenry County Retired Teachers Association was established at 2:30 P.M. on April 26, 1960, at Clarence Olson School, Woodstock. In addition to two persons from IRTA and two from the Lake County RTA, McHenry County retired teachers present were Vida Austin, Helen Brewer, Mary Gannon, Frances Garland, Margaret Gillies, Mary Gillies, Catherine Renich, and Cora White.
MCRTA is an affiliate of the Illinois Retired Teachers Association, founded in 1955; and the National Retired Teachers Association, founded in 1947 and the parent of the American Association of Retired Persons. MCRTA works closely with IRTA to enhance the welfare of all retired teachers in the State of Illinois.
Over the years, our MCRTA leadership has been in the hands of loyal, dedicated retired teachers. Those who have served as presidents for our organization are listed below. The Association appreciates their outstanding guidance.
1960 Frances Garland, Woodstock
1961-62 Suzanne Reed, Elected President and *Katherine Renich, "Presiding President", Woodstock
1963-64 Iola Shepard, Harvard
1965-66 Frances Brand, Crystal Lake
1967-70 Julia Feffer, Crystal Lake
1971-72 Jennette Burbank, Woodstock
1973-76 Lucille Thurow, Huntley
1977-78 Leila Coons, Woodstock
1979 John Richards, Woodstock
1980-81 Olive Nolan, Woodstock
1982-83 Carrie Hage, Harvard
1984-87 Herb Mroch, Harvard
1988-89 Vernon Hajeck, Woodstock
1989 Eleanor Wilkens, Woodstock
1990-93 DuWayne Sheldon, Crystal Lake
1994-97 Ken Swanson, Ringwood
1998 Bill Courtright, Harvard
1998-01 Steve Polep, Oakwood Hills
2002-05 Marti Swanson, Ringwood
2006-07 Al Boeldt, McHenry
2008-09 Mike DeWolfe, Johnsburg
2010-11 Lois Shartiag, Barrington Hills
2012-19 Steve Polep - Oakwood Hills
McHenry County Retired Teacher of the Year
In 1988, a gubernatorial proclamation asked that we honor outstanding retired teachers. Each unit submits the names of local honorees to the IRTA. Those honored by McHenry County Unit 13 include the following:
1988 Vera Perry* - Woodstock
1989 Carrie Hage* - Harvard
1990 Verda Dierzen* - Woodstock
1992 Eleanor Wilkens - Woodstock
1993 DuWayne Sheldon* - Crystal Lake
1994 Edith Newcomer* - Crystal Lake
1995 Marie Husmann - McHenry
1996 Edith Brandt - Crystal Lake
1997 Ken Swanson - Ringwood
1998 Marti Swanson - Ringwood
1999 Betty Anderson - Huntley
2000 Don Seaton - McHenry
2001 Steve Polep - Cary
2002 Beulah Allyaud - Woodstock
2003 Mary Stompanato - Woodstock
2004 Herb Rangl - Marengo
2005 Venus Nienow - Woodstock
2006 Velma Dysart - Crystal Lake
2007 Greg Johnson - McHenry
2008 Henry Kenyon - McHenry
2009 Al Boeldt - McHenry
2010 Beth Marcello
2011 Mike DeWolfe
2012 Norb Wolter
2013 Lois Shartiag
2014 Bev Aweve
2015 Jude LaFrancis
2016 Dick Seaborn
2017 Marlene Griffith
2019 Mary Noe
MCRTA Scholarship Winners--Please scroll down to see current year's winners
1995 Emily Benecke, Marengo High School
1996 Aaron Swank, Crystal Lake Central High School
1997 Nicole Schafer, McHenry West High School
1998 Brittany Witek, Hampshire, Marion Central High School
1999 Kelly Bandur, Cary-Grove High School
Jeremy Little, Woodstock High School
2000 Deanne Lund, McHenry East High School
Anne Prusina, Marian Central High School
2001 Amanda Maguire, Harvard High School
Sara Walkington, MCC (Woodstock High School grad)
2002 Louise Henshaw, Prairie Ridge High School
Rochelle Ruzicka, McHenry West High School
2003 Kurt Carlson, Woodstock High School
Clarisse Iftner, Harvard High School
2004 Tera Beaty, Huntley High School
Brian Koppen, Johnsburg High School
2005 Emily Larkin, Woodstock High School
Samantha Sebastian, Crystal Lake South High School
2006 Jennifer Barnes (Richard Swanson Memorial), McHenry East HS
Laura Gibbons, Marengo Community High School
Jessie Rigby, Woodstock High School
2007 Malyssa Jankowski (Alice J “Sally” Ronan Memorial), Woodstock HS
Danielle Knaizer, Crystal Lake South High School
Mary Lawler, McHenry West High School
2008 Ryan Forner, McHenry West HS (Richard Swanson Memorial Scholarship)
Susanne Johnson, Cary-Grove High School
Nathan Staller, McHenry West High School
Stephanie Tate, Woodstock HS (Alice “Sally” Ronan Memorial Scholarship)
2009 Ashley Faith, McHenry West High School
Elizabeth Linning, Crystal Lake South High School
Julianne Pacana, Huntley High School
Alayna Pierce, Cary-Grove High School
Blair Rummel. Richmond-Burton High School
Tracy Trebes, Harvard High School
2010 Michael Spilg - Cary Grove H.S.
Colleen Leonard - Woodstock H.S.(Alice “Sally” Ronan Memorial Scholarship)
Brianna Roberts - Richmond Burton H.S.
Matt Simon - McHenry West H.S.
Emily Shaefer - Crystal Lake South H.S.
Kelly Seklecki - Jacobs H.S.
2011 Megan Terese - Woodstock H.S.(Alice “Sally” Ronan Memorial Scholarship)
Annie Nelson - Woodstock North H.S.(Alice “Sally” Ronan Memorial Scholarship)
Valerie Lee - Prairie Ridge H.S.
Samantha Ivers - Crystal Lake South H.S.
Samantha Hildebrandt - McHenry East H.S.
2013 Kailey Bogucki-Cary-Grove High School
Hailey Keefe-Woodstock High School (Alice Ronan Memorial scholarship)
Danielle Scott-McHenry West High School
Aaron Spivey-Richmond-Burton Community High School
Kristina Williams-Marengo Community High School
2014 Daphne Austin-Harvard High School
Jessica Escontrias-Woodstock North High School (Alice Ronan Memorial scholarship)
Sydney Jozwiak-McHenry East High School (Ken Swanson Memorial scholarship)
Elizabeth Schmidt-Crystal Lake Central High School.
- Madysen Gerlinger is a graduate of Prairie Ridge High School. Her plans are to major in elementary and special education at Iowa State University.
- Samantha Rose Lewandowski is a graduate of McHenry West High School. She is planning to attend the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point with an elementary education major.
- Anna MacLean is a graduate of Richmond-Burton Community High School. She is planning to attend Olivet Nazarene University with a major in secondary math education.
- Madison Melson is a graduate of Harvard High School. She is planning to attend the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh with either an early childhood or elementary education major.
- Amber Sena is a graduate of McHenry West High School and is the recipient of the Ken Swanson Memorial Scholarship. She is planning to attend the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater with a physical education major.
- Rebecca Alvarez is a graduate of Crystal Lake Central High School. She is receiving our first Marcia Wright Memorial Scholarship to attend Iowa State University with majors in Elementary and Special Education
- John Anderlik, a McHenry East High School graduate, is receiving a Frank Leo Rosanova Memorial Scholarship. His plans are to major in Middle School Education at Illinois State University.
- Brittany Huellen is a graduate of Prairie Ridge High School. She is receiving our first Marcia Wright Memorial Scholarship. Her plans are to major in Special Education-Deaf and Hard of Hearing at Illinois State University.
- Allyson Kamrat is a graduate of McHenry East High School. She is planning to attend the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign with Secondary Education majors in Political Science and English.
- Rebecca Kendeigh is a Cary Grove High School graduate. Her plans are to major in Elementary Education at the University of Iowa.
- Alexandria Muschong, a graduate of Woodstock High School, is receiving the Sally Ronan Memorial Scholarship. She is planning to attend McKendree University with a major in Special Education.
- Justin Wilcox, a graduate of Harvard High School, is planning to attend Ashland University (Ohio) with a Secondary Education major in History.
- James Cormier is a graduate of Crystal Lake Central High School. He is receiving a Marcia Wright Memorial Scholarship to attend St. Ambrose University (IA) with a major in Secondary Education-Math. “In high school, I never really thought about being a teacher until I had the amazing opportunity to tutor a few students my junior year. After working with them and helping them work through their difficulties, I know that I wanted to do that for the rest of my life.”
- Michael Godek is a graduate of Huntley High School. He is receiving a Marcia Wright Memorial Scholarship. His plans are to major in Secondary Education-Math at Illinois State University. “Teachers are the machines that shape the building blocks of future generations. Teachers are the forefront of developing students.”
- Kelsey Hallin, a graduate of Harvard High School, is planning to attend Missouri Valley College (MO) with an Elementary Education major. “I believe that my true passion for education sets me apart from others, my love for education will show through my teaching. They say you never work a day in your life if you love what you do, and I cannot wait to be able to do what I love every day in the classroom.”
- Danielle Klenske is a graduate of Marengo High School. She is planning to attend UW-River Falls (WI) with a Secondary Education major in Agriculture. “I believe that the teaching profession is the most important profession in the world. Teachers not only educate students but they motivate them to reach for more in life.”
- Margaret McGee is a Huntley High School graduate. Her plans are to major in Elementary Education at Illinois State University. “Becoming an elementary school teacher who excels in the classroom using teaching styles and practices to grow students has been my greatest personal goal from a young age.”
- Brianna Mudra, a McHenry East High School graduate, is receiving a Margaret Anne Vadnais Memorial Scholarship. Her plans are to major in Elementary Education at Midway University (KY). “My outlook on the education profession is that teachers want nothing else but for our students to succeed and will stop at nothing to make sure their students are on the right path to success.”
- Lauryn Straub, a graduate of Woodstock High School, is receiving the Sally Ronan Memorial Scholarship. She is planning to attend Lee University (TN) with a major in Elementary Special Education. “I have always known that I wanted to be a teacher, and I hope that someday through my time, talents or resources I would be able to inspire students to work towards their dreams of building a positive future.”
- Ruby Galarza, a graduate of Harvard High School, is planning to attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a Secondary Education-English major. She received our first Greg Johnson Memorial Scholarship. “My goals in teaching are to expand my future students’ knowledge, to inspire them, and to help them find their voice. In other words, I want to show students that they are capable of achieving many amazing things.” Ruby also received an Illinois Seal of Bi-literacy upon graduation. Congratulations, Ruby!
- Makayla Golden, a McHenry East High School graduate, is receiving a Daniel J. Melchionda Memorial Scholarship. Her plans are to major in Secondary Education-English at Western Illinois University. “Without a doubt, teachers are the most influential and patient people that we are surrounded by. I have always looked up to my teachers in a way they have guided me and encouraged me to be better. This is what I want to accomplish with my students.”
- Kayly Hogan is a graduate of Richmond-Burton High School. She is planning to attend the University of Iowa with an Elementary Education major. “I believe that I am an excellent candidate for the Future Educator Scholarship, as I understand the struggles of being a student with a learning disability. I have learned that through hard work, determination and perseverance, I can reach my goals and be the best student, person, and teacher I can be. I want to pass on that trait to my students and be a teacher that relates to their issues and can be a resource in helping them achieve their goals through hard work and education.”
- Nathaniel Murrin is a McHenry West High School graduate and a Swanson Memorial Scholarship recipient. He plans are to major in Secondary Education-English at UW-Platteville. “I believe that teachers are gateways to the world and that they should support, and even cheer on students as they enter the next stage of their lives. Furthermore, my goals as an educator would be to relate what I am teaching to something that matters to them, and to be engaging, attentive, and a positive role model within my future classroom and school.”
- Jourden Reis, a graduate of Woodstock North High School, is receiving the Sally Ronan Memorial Scholarship. She is planning to attend Illinois State University with a major in Elementary Education. “When granted the chance to teach children like myself with the aid of this scholarship, I will use my own experiences of struggle and determination to help encourage and better my students, because there will most likely be multiple opportunities for myself to influence children who may possess the same difficulties as I had, with my own experiences in the classroom which will hopefully influence that student out of a classroom setting as well.” Congratulations to Jourden who was also just recognized as an Illinois Golden Apple Scholar!
- Bailey Schneyr is a graduate of Prairie Ridge High School. She is receiving a Marcia Wright Memorial Scholarship to attend Carthage College (WI) with a major in Instrumental Music Education. “The education profession, in my opinion, is the most important profession there is. Without teachers, there would be nobody to educate the youth of the world. But more importantly, nobody to inspire the youth of the world. As a future music educator, I hope to inspire a love for learning music in all of my students. I will provide a fun, challenging, and reflective music education to enrich the lives of the youth.”
- Mairead (Maggie) Stotz is a graduate of Crystal Lake South High School. She is also receiving a Marcia Wright Memorial Scholarship. Her plans are to major in Secondary Education-English at the University of Nebraska. “My most inspiring teachers, grade school to present, have taught me so much more than their coursework. They have given me the courage and passion to want to educate and help others. They showed me how to be an enthusiastic, inspirational teacher in the future. Knowing how much of an influence my teachers have had on my life makes me want to be that same beacon of light for someone else, for the next generation of students.”
- Kathryn (Kate) Urosevich is a graduate of Huntley High School. She is planning to major in Secondary Education-History at Ohio Northern University. This is the reason she chose a history major. “I see history as one long, connected story, but it is rarely taught as such. I want to teach my students the story of this world, both the pain and the joy, the wins and the losses, but most importantly, I want them to leave my classroom with a newfound passion for history and a newfound respect for the men and women who fill the pages of our history books.”