LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Olivia Aguado

Position: District Contact Tracer
School: Gill Administrative Center
School District: Wheeling CCSD21
City, State: Wheeling, IL

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Olivia Aguado was nominated by one of her supervisors, Kim Cline.

Ms. Aguado is a LifeChanger for students, their families, and all district staff.  She has a proven ability to make a beneficial difference in the lives of students.  She began her career in the district as a health office assistant at Cooper Middle School.  Her degree is in community health, and when she saw the district was going to hire a contact tracer for the 2020-2021 school year, she knew this role was aligned to her goals for supporting community health. 

Ms. Aguado is a calm presence, an active listener, and a solutions-focused individual.  She creates a positive atmosphere in each of her district's 13 schools. Whether she is contacting parents in the evening when their student has tested positive for COVID-19 through weekly Shield testing, contact tracing with building leadership to ensure a safe learning environment, or keeping the district dashboard up-to-date for full transparency, Ms. Aguado does it all with professionalism and a sense that it will all be ok. 

"Supporting our school health offices in understanding the ever-changing guidance, from August 2020 through today, is the greatest leadership skill that Olivia has offered our staff.  Whether the superintendent wants to host a vaccine clinic or be one of the first districts to implement Shield testing, Olivia finds a way to make it happen. She cold-called several vendors until we were able to host a community clinic for 1,700 people, mostly school staff and seniors, in March 2021. Shortly after, we began weekly Shield saliva COVID-testing in April 2021.  Due to Olivia’s leadership and organization, we have been Shield testing 4,200 students and staff since the last week in August 2021," said Cline.  

Ms. Aguado demonstrates the utmost professionalism and ethical standards in her confidentiality when talking to staff, parents, or the health department. In a school year where staff started in a state of compassion fatigue due to vaccine/mask mandates and COVID numbers on the rise, Ms. Aguado works diligently to connect with each health office on a weekly basis, and with building leadership, to determine how they are doing and what support they may need.  She takes a personal interest in calling families and staff in the evenings and on the weekends when they have tested positive to check in on symptoms and their overall wellness. 

"Olivia is absolutely a LifeChanger to District 21. We are in a better place as a district to have her on our team," said Cline.

Comments (20)

Kathy Posted 6 months ago

So great full for your kindness and support and we navigate the ever changing waters!!!

Glen Michelini Posted 8 months ago

Olivia Aguado (District Contact Tracer) has been a terrific resource and advocate for promoting safety and good health pratices during Covid 19. She and Kim Cline (Assistant Superintendent of Student Services and School Safety) helped organize multiple vaccination clinics benefiting staff, elderly and students in our area. Olivia worked hard to maximize this service by overseeing reservations, cancellations and walk in appointments to ensure maximum usage by participants. Olivia not only served District 21; but, the community as well. Olivia works hard making sure those having symptoms get tested and people they contacted get notified to reduce overall infection rates. Olivia is genuine, caring, and just a compassionate person. Please join in congratulating Olivia for this recognition, "Life Changer of the Year." Thank you Olivia.....

Carolyn Droll Posted 8 months ago

Olivia has been an absolute beacon of patience, reassurance, wisdom, and compassion during this unprecedented time. Regardless of how busy she is, she finds the time to research every question and talk it through to make sure we are aligned and clear on what the guidance should be. She thinks through every detail and makes connections that we might not see in the situation to ensure we are holding high standards for the safety of all of our students and staff. I am so grateful for the work she does for us!

Mary Talbot Posted 8 months ago

Olivia was a joy to work with during a stressful time in the CCSD21 community. I’m certain she continues to be a steady and calm influence, keeping the students and staff safe. Very well deserved recognition.

Christy Campbell Posted 8 months ago

Olivia is so amazingly empathetic, knowledgeable and kind! She’s at the front line supporting our community when they’re scared, frustrated or bewildered. She takes the time to listen and to really understand concerns, and then does all she can to address the concerns. She’s helped me personally and professionally immeasurably! She’s a gem!

Kathy Nowak Posted 8 months ago

Olivia has been a bright spot in a challenging time. I work in one of the health offices in our school district that Olivia oversees. No matter the time of day or type of question, Olivia is always there for me and our school family. She delivers her answers with a kind and generous spirit. I always feel heard…and answered. I am blessed to know her children and I am amazed how her kindness has been handed down. Working both “jobs” with such grace is truly a gift. I am so lucky to witness this gift. I was so happy to see that she was nominated for this honor. She truly deserves the recognition.

Catherine Joy Posted 8 months ago

Grace under pressure- that best describes Olivia Aguado! Since taking on the newly created role of contract tracer in District 21 in July 2020, Olivia has worked tirelessly to ensure the safety and health of District 21 students and staff. Her outreach has impacted the larger Wheeling community through multiple vaccination clinics she and Kim Cline organized. She is an effective communicator and provides reassurance in unpredictable times. She diligently works to remain current with the changing policies and protocols as the pandemic has evolved. Olivia is a valuable asset to District 21 students, staff, and families. Thank you, Olivia!

Samantha Roth Posted 8 months ago

Olivia's calm demeanor during a time when the world has been anything but calm is refreshing. I have watched her each and every day support concerned families and staff members. On multiple occasions she has even helped me by providing me facts from the CDC and calling various Walgreens locations in search of over-the-counter tests. This school year we hired a nurse after the school year began. The nurse that we hired was coming from a position in an emergency room - a very different setting. She was overwhlemed by the new position - specifically all of the COVID protocol. I watched as all of this seemed to wash away after meeting with Olivia to be briefed on procedures, regulations, and suggestions for management of student information. Olivia is a one of a kind person. Regardless of moving past this nomination, she will always be a winner to CCSD21 staff, students, and families.

Lynn Lightfoot Posted 8 months ago

Olivia is our District Contact Tracer. I had the pleasure of working with Olivia prior to this role that she is currently in due to the pandemic. Everything Olivia is involved with she does with calmness, compassion and dedication to everyone involved. She puts everyone at ease during a time in our district that we have never navigated before now. She always puts the students, families and staff first and goes above and beyond to keep everyone safe. Olivia has been a life changer to our district and everyone she comes in contact with.

Alyssa Shlensky Posted 8 months ago

Olivia has truly been a LifeChanger throughout the last two years. As COVID protocols and recommendations constantly change, Olivia is always up to date with her knowledge. Her calm demeanor helps to support staff, students, and families as we all learn to navigate world in which we live during a global pandemic. She goes above and beyond every day to ensure we are doing everything possible to attempt to mitigate risks. She has organized several vaccination clinics for adults and children, while contact tracing and organizing SHIELD testing for the district. As a building principal, I am forever grateful for the support and guidance she provides!

Mary Jo Peterson Posted 8 months ago

Olivia is a ray of positive sunshine during this stressful time. She is compitent and kind. She deserves our appreciation and thanks

Anastasia Netzel Posted 8 months ago

Olivia serves as the District’s Contact Tracer and so much more! Her compassion, patience, and dedication is both inspiring and appreciated. Olivia has supported District 21 and London families through navigating the pandemic. For me, as a building leader, Olivia has given me the confidence to ensure my students and staff are safe while learning and educating. Thank you so much Olivia for all you do!

Crystal Jimenez Posted 8 months ago

Olivia is an amazing human being. She has been someone to lean on for all things COVID guidelines/mitigations. Olivia stays current in the evolving matters regarding COVID and the vaccines. She is always a phone call away. I have felt supported by Olivia numerous times. She gracefully communicates information to all stakeholders. Our students and staff have benefited from her partnership with vaccine clinics. Again, Olivia is amazing.

Joanie Murphy Posted 8 months ago

Olivia - one of the most amazing humans I have had privilege to know and work with. Her advocacy for our students and families has impacted hundreds of lives. Thank you, Olivia, for everything you have done, not only behind the scenes with individual students, but here, on a systemic level with fulfilling a critical role during the pandemic. Thank you for always putting our students first and always being available to help those in need.

Matthew Lombardo Posted 8 months ago

Olivia's leadership, compassion, and calm, positive presence have been invaluable these past two school years. She has helped a countless number of community and staff members across our district. As the principal of Kilmer Elementary School, Olivia has always made herself available to me, no matter the situation. I have had many conversations with her well beyond the hours of a school day, including many Saturdays and Sundays. In every scenario, Olivia is committed to collaborative problem-solving as we work toward doing what is best for all students, families, and staff. Our entire district relies and depends on Olivia for guidance and support during some of the most challenging times we have faced and continue to face. She meets these challenges head-on and works tirelessly to do what is best for our district's learning community.

Kara Beach Posted 8 months ago

Olivia serves as the District’s Contact Tracer - a role that didn’t even exist before the pandemic! As we continue to learn about COVID-19, Olivia’s job has evolved. The constant, however, is Olivia’s grace, compassion, patience, and dedication. Olivia and I work together closely to report out our district's COVID numbers. Her transparency and support fosters trust across our community. Olivia is so selfless and genuine - giving of her days, nights, weekends, and holidays, to ensure our families and staff get the answers they are looking for and reassurance they need. Our lives were changed by the pandemic, and Olivia has made a life-changing impact on our community. We are so fortunate to have her on our team and serving our community.

Michelle Friedman Posted 8 months ago

Olivia is a constant source of calm and reassurance during a time of unpredictability. She is committed to her role and makes herself available at all hours to answer questions and keep us informed. Thank you, Olivia, for your dedication to District 21!

Lynne Duffy Posted 8 months ago

Olivia's guidance over the past two years has been a comfort during these uncertain times. Her direction is clear, concise, and calming as she walks an individual through the process of what needs to be done to ensure the safety and health of the staff, students and families. She is always available to answer questions, support you in the process and her follow up is thorough. She demonstrates compassion, care, and confidentiality while explaining detailed instructions and next steps. Additionally, she was instrumental in securing vaccinations for our district's staff, students and community. The vaccination events have been organized efficiently. Those who utilized the "vaccination clinics" comment on how easy and relaxed it is to receive their two doses. Olivia is a positive presences in District 21!

Lisa Mieling Posted 8 months ago

Congratulations Olivia!!! We appreciate all that you do and have done for our community.

K Ludwig Posted 8 months ago

Olivia went above and beyond when one of my family members was diagnosed with Covid. She kept us completely in the loop and checked in with the shield results immediately when they became available. She was a blessing during a difficult time. THANK YOU, OLIVIA!!