McCaskey has devoted her life to caring for children, from a 40-year career as a first-grade teacher in Palatine, Ill., to spending time in Chicago’s inner city volunteering with teenagers in her retirement. Twenty years ago, McCaskey joined the advisory board for After School Matters, a highly regarded organization offering programs to enrich the city’s high school students, and she still serves on the board today. McCaskey, a 1965 graduate, and her husband, Ray, are active at Wartburg College, having funded scholarships for prospective elementary school teachers and the Orange Opportunity Scholarship to bridge the financial gap for inner-city youths.
Jelneck, a 1950 Wartburg graduate, worked in many nursing specialties at the University of Michigan Hospital in addition to serving as a summer camp nurse and later as a school nurse and guidance counselor at Concordia College in Ann Arbor. In 1980, she started Individualized Home Nursing Care and Hospice, a home health care organization focused on the spiritual side of dying as well as the physical part. At her church, First Presbyterian in Ann Arbor, she continues to sing and serve as a leader with Mature Ministries.
A 1975 graduate, Sinram taught K-12 P.E. and health at Jesup Community Schools, plus junior high English and social studies until 1999. As a coach, he was honored as State Coach of the Year for boys’ cross country in 1990. After his time at Jesup, he left his mark as a pioneer in adaptive physical education where he designed classes to ensure all students could reach their full potential. While at Grant Wood AEA and later at the Waterloo school district, Sinram and his colleagues reached out to retired engineers at Rockwell Collins to design adaptive P.E. equipment that can help special-needs students.
Nominees for the annual award are reviewed based on their personal and professional application of the college’s mission statement pillars: leadership, service, faith and learning.