Dist. 203 Volunteer Now an Advocate for Middle Students

Article excerpt

"Good people aren't necessarily easy, but they're the ones who can make a difference," a wise person once told me.

As many can attest, Mickey Koziol is one of those "good people."

She has and continues to make a difference. About four years ago, Koziol was the Naperville Unit District 203 parent who spearheaded the effort to keep music an option during the school day for students in junior high. She was also a candidate for the school board a few years back.

With a daughter making her way through District 203 schools - she is now a junior at Naperville North - and a husband who teaches at Westinghouse High School in Chicago, Koziol has made a difference to students and education in a number of areas.

Her activities include: Girl Scout leader; Future Search; the superintendent's advisory council; curriculum project on foreign language; Home & School board; the Parent Involvement Team; and chairwoman of the city's Youth Advisory Commission. She also records books on tape at Washington Junior High.

Did I mention she is clear of leukemia after going through eight months of chemotherapy in 1998?

But having set out this laundry list of items making Koziol the poster gal for Make a Difference Day, I'll mention my favorite Koziol attribute is her honesty. Living in a place where everything is routinely proclaimed the "best" - presumably never requiring any improvement - Koziol has the courage to buck the trend.

As everyone who has known her for any time knows, Koziol steps up when it comes to the needs of students in the middle.

This one-woman advocacy group is meeting with whoever she can to talk about improvements she thinks can benefit the vast majority of students who don't fall on either end of the academic spectrum.

She has met with administrators, the General Home & School board, the STAGE board, and the Youth Advisory Commission and has spoken to the school board. Her message remains the same. She wants changes for students who fall in the middle - especially in junior highs and high schools. …