The Joliet Township High School Virtual Commencement Team, Unidos Marketing, and Moonstep Productions received an Award of Excellence on September 11 from the Illinois National School Public Relations Association for the production of the Joliet West and Joliet Central Virtual Graduations.
The project, managed by the JTHS Community & Alumni Relations Office, was generously sponsored by the JTHS Athletic Boosters and the Foundation. Each video was professionally produced by Unidos Marketing and Moonstep Productions, both local Joliet companies. Cesar Cardenas, owner of Unidos Marketing, is a Central alumnus from the Class of 1997, and Brian Bessler, owner of Moonstep Productions, is a Central alumnus from the Class of 1995.
“The videos debuted on the District’s Facebook and YouTube Channels on May 29 with Spanish subtitles and all the pomp and circumstance of the traditional in-person graduation,” said Kristine Schlismann, JTHS Director of Community and Alumni Relations “Words of inspiration were delivered by the principals, Board of Education representatives, and alumni graduation speakers Dr. Bob Navarro, Joliet West Class of 1987; Lorraine Guerrero-Neumayer, Central Class of 1998; Mike Clark, Joliet West Class of 1999; and Erick Deshaun Dorris, Joliet Central Class of 1999. Music was produced by our choir and band.”
“We really wanted to make the graduations special and personalized because we knew how much it meant to our students and families,” Schlismann said. “This was truly a team effort, and I am so thankful for everyone who dedicated hours of work to make this event possible.”
The INSPRA Award of Excellence is a prestigious honor and professional school communicators from across the country judged the submissions. Each entry was evaluated by three judges against a rubric of excellence, with awards given to those that scored within the established ranges for merit and excellence. View Award Ceremony
Production contributors included: Producers, Brian Bessler and Cesar Cardenas; Director and Post Production, Misael Alvarez; Creative Direction, Kristine Schlismann and Jordan Smuksta; Virtual Graduation Team, Anita Galvan (Team Lead), Laura Heck (Team Lead), Tanya Rico (Team Lead), Maria Arana, Brenda Campos, Christi Cardwell, Kristin Chally, Ofelia Cuevas, Christine Ebenroth, Patricia Finney, Dr. Teresa Gibson, Isabel Gloria, Grace Gonzalez, Dr. Karla Guseman, Sandra Guzman, Shad Hallihan, Susan Harris, Aurora Martinez, Tecara Parker, Debbie Shelby, Stephanie Thomas, Danielle Walsh, Kimberly Weeks and Tino Villaflor; Board of Education Members, Tracy Spesia, Frank Edmon Jr. (commencement address), Meg Cappel (commencement address), Jim Allison, Angel Contreras, Matthew Kennedy, and Michelle Stiff; Music Direction, Tim DeBoer, Steven Pyter, Don Stinson, and Eric Wellman; Graduation Speakers, Lily Bryson, Anna Polacek, and Summit Kumar; National Anthem, Samantha Portis and West Senior Quarantine Choir comprised of Trayton Anderson, Elena Crino, Savanna Crowley, Mary Dixon, Cheridan Matan, Jemma Newby, Emily Papesh , Kiera Posteluk, Jaxon Rees, Lydia Richardson, Nathan Tate, Alexa Van Lengen, Desmond Walker, Maddison Wascom, Phil Wood and Quarantine Choir comprised of Braden Brophy, Amaris Gamez, Kaitlyn Gibson, Josh Gualberto and Arianna Hernandez; Graduation Speakers, Dr. Bob Navarro, Joliet West Class of 1987; Lorraine Guerrero-Neumayer, Central Class of 1998; Mike Clark, Joliet West Class of 1999; and Erick Deshaun Dorris, and Joliet Central Class of 1999.