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Greenbriar Assistant Receives State Recognition

Nanette Adatto has spent 17 years in a kindergarten classroom supporting students as an instructional assistant at Greenbriar School, but her presence is felt throughout school. That’s because she is also the morning supervisor on the playground for kindergarten and first grade, she has worked with 3rd- through 5th-grade students on Student Council and is in charge of the most popular bulletin board in school where she works with students to create designs that include the name of each child in the school.

To many Greenbriar staff members, it’s no surprise she is being recognized by the Illinois State Board of Education with a Meritorious Award in the Those Who Excel recognition program. But Ms. Adatto was the one surprised Friday morning when she entered her classroom to the shouts of ‘SURPRISE’ by her students, teacher Ms. Megan Roberts, Principal Dr. Ginny Hiltz and family members connected through Zoom to celebrate the recognition.

“I’ll say what I say every day. I am so lucky to be here!” Ms. Adatto said to her excited students.

Several people, including parents and colleagues, nominated Nanette for the award as a tribute to her career before she retires at the end of the school year. “Nanette has been adept at providing just the right amount of support for students based on their needs and kindergarten readiness. She is endlessly patient and positive and truly makes each student feel important and supported,” Dr. Hiltz commented.

Since 1970, the Illinois State Board of Education has sponsored Those Who Excel and Teacher of the Year recognition to honor individuals who have made significant contributions to public and nonpublic elementary and secondary schools.

“Nanette has made learning come to life in the classroom as well, whether through her talking puppets, her knowledge of early literacy instruction, or her excitement about community and social issues, she gets kids excited about learning and feeling confident,” Dr. Hiltz noted.

“The Teacher of the Year and Those Who Excel programs recognize the people who make education In Illinois so exceptional,” said State Superintendent of Education Dr. Carmen I. Ayala. "Our students have been in the most capable hands despite the challenges of the past two years. Our Illinois educators and their level of commitment, passion, and dedication have been a guiding light for students and communities in a time when we have needed it the most.”

Ms. Adatto will be recognized by the Board of Education in March and will accept her award at a statewide recognition celebration later this summer.

students hold up a congratulations sign for Ms. Adatto.

Ginny HIltz, Nanette Adatto and Megan Roberts with kindergarten class


Students made a sign congratulating Ms. Adatto (top); Greenbriar Principal Dr. Ginny Hiltz, Nanette Adatto and teacher Megan Roberts celebrate the award with their kindergarten class.