Crystal Lake Elementary District 47

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Bernotas Principal Jeff Prickett Named Stanley C. Golder Finalist

Jeff Prickett  

   Bernotas Middle School Principal Jeff Prickett
Bernotas Middle School Principal Jeff Prickett has been named a finalist by Golden Apple for the 2017 Stanley C. Golder Leadership Award. The award honors the exemplary performance and excellence in school leadership of a principal or head of school from the Chicagoland area.

The award is presented in memory of Stanley C. Golder, a founding board member of Golden Apple. Nominated by fellow educators and community members, this year’s finalists have served as principal or head of school at one or more schools for at least five school years.

The selection criteria for the leadership award is based on:

  • Personal excellence

  • Balanced and collaborative leadership

  • Commitment to student achievement

  • Expertise in curriculum, instruction, and assessment

Mr. Prickett joined District 47 in 2014 as principal of Richard Bernotas Middle School. Previously, he served as principal for an elementary and middle school in Round Lake, and as an assistant principal in McHenry. During the 2015-16 school year, he was named Kishwaukee Region’s Middle School Principal of the Year by the Illinois Principals Association (IPA). On behalf of the IPA, Prickett has traveled around the state of Illinois this school year leading talks on restorative justice in response to Public Act 99-0456 (formerly Senate Bill 100). He recently completed his doctoral degree in educational leadership from National Louis University and serves on the board at the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) McHenry County.  

“I am extremely humbled by the nomination for this prestigious award. To stand alongside these nine colleagues as a finalist is such an honor and is more than I would have ever expected,” said Prickett. “We go through our days making decisions about the future of our students’ lives, about the ways in which they will spend their days with us, about what they will learn and how. But the most important thing that we do -- the one thing that really matters -- is creating relationships with the people with whom we spend our time.”

According to Superintendent Dr. Kathy Hinz, “We are excited that Jeff’s passion for creating the best educational experience for students is being recognized. He is an innovative leader who is constantly seeking ways to engage students in their own learning.”  


A Celebration of Excellence in honor of the 10 finalists (and 34 finalists for the Golden Apple Awards for Excellence in Teaching) will be held on Saturday, March 4th at the Hilton Rosemont Chicago O’Hare. Event details and additional details about the Stanley C. Golder award are available at

The 2017 Golder Award recipient will receive a cash award of $10,000 to be used for his/her own professional development and a school project of the recipient’s choosing. In addition, the winner will be recognized at the Golden Apple Awards for Excellence in Teaching and Leadership annual event on May 20, 2017 - which will be livestreamed and taped for later production by WTTW/Channel 11.