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Sauk to honor outstanding alumni

DIXON – Sauk Valley Community College will honor two alumni for their notable accomplishments during the annual commencement ceremony Friday.

Dixon Superintendent Margo Empen, a 1989 Sauk graduate, will receive the Distinguished Alumni Award for her longtime commitment to education and the community.

Empen has been with the School District for nearly 30 years as a teacher, principal, assistant superintendent and superintendent, and has been involved with the Rotary Club of Dixon, KSB Governance and Advisory Board, and CEO Board for at the Whiteside Area Career Center. She also recently was named the Superintendent of Distinction for the northwest division of the Illinois Association of School Administrators.

According to her nomination for the award:

“Mrs. Empen’s commitment to serve others, our community and its students is an inspiration and representative of Sauk’s mission to engage the community in lifelong learning, public service and economic development.”

Empen received her associate of science degree in elementary education from Sauk, a bachelor’s degree from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb and two master’s degrees from Western Illinois University in Macomb.

A new Alumni Achievement Award geared toward someone 35 or younger for outstanding achievements, public service and/or volunteer activities will be presented to Rachel Kobus, a 2007 Sauk graduate and the associate director for alumni engagement for Illinois State University in Normal.

According to her nomination:

“Rachel has grown into a powerhouse at ISU where she is one of the lead social influencers. She represents SVCC in the brightest light.”

Kobus received her associate of science degree in general studies from Sauk, and a bachelor’s and master’s degree from ISU. She was also Sauk’s marketing coordinator.

She serves on the ISU Administrative and Professional Council, Council for Advancement and Support of Education, and the McLean County Chamber of Commerce Leadership. This year, Kobus was presented with the university’s Emerging Leader Award.

The two will be honored at 7 p.m. during the graduation ceremony.

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