Kevin Nawracaj

Position: Security Guard

School: West Leyden High School

School District: Leyden High School District #212

City, State: Northlake, IL

About the Nominee: Mr. Nawracaj believes in hard work, mentoring and building relationships with students. Last year a young male student entered West Leyden. This student was born with no legs. Mr. Nawracaj got to know the student, began to mentor him, soon finding out that the student played sled hockey. Mr. Nawracaj began to attend the games in support of the student and then spent much of the past summer working to make him physically stronger. With Mr. Nawracaj's help as one of his trainers, the student has qualified for the Special Olympics Sled Hockey team that will play in Russia in March of 2014. Because the team will need to cut one player, Mr. Nawracaj gives up his lunch period to continue to work and train with the student. On weekends, he brings along his children and continues to serve as a trainer. Recently, a local paper wrote an article about the student, and Mr. Nawracaj wanted to keep his name out of the piece because he believed the article should be about the student, not about him. In addition, he didn't want other students to think he was showing favoritism to one student over another because he really cares about all the students. Mr. Nawracaj volunteers his time because he believes that hard work and determination are the keys to success. He is extremely humble. In fact, he maintains that all the students are the ones doing him a favor. His positive attitude, smile and "no ma'am, thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve," are a comforting constant for everyone at West Leyden.