Betty Heard Thompson, left, stands with Dr. Ryan McTague while being honored as a Distinguished Graduate

The McHenry Community High School Foundation Committee is accepting nominations until March 1 for the Distinguished Graduate program to recognize McHenry High School alumni who have excelled in many ways, including career achievements, humanitarian work, and community service.

To be considered for the award, nominees must be graduates of McHenry High School District 156 for at least 15 years. Criteria used to determine Distinguished Graduates includes having a  wide sphere of influence, making a positive impact on the community, overcoming difficulties to reach goals, serving humanity, and inspiring others. 

The graduates selected for this award will be honored at the school’s annual Senior Honors Night in May and will be invited to participate in McHenry High School homecoming festivities. MCHS recognized Betty Heard Thompson, Class of 1968 and longtime McHenry District 15 educator, for her accomplishments as a teacher and active community volunteer during the 2022 homecoming game. 

Also, a photo of the Distinguished Graduate and a list of accomplishments will be prominently displayed in each school building along with Distinguished Graduates from prior years. Each Distinguished Graduate will also receive a plaque to keep.

The program is conducted in cooperation with the McHenry Community High School Alumni Association ( Nomination forms are available online on the Distinguished Graduate page ( on the McHenry Community High School District 156 website ( 

Judging will be conducted by members of the community, District 156 staff and Educational Foundation members.

For more details, please contact Carl Vallianatos, District 156 assistant superintendent for learning and innovation, at (815) 385-7900. Nominations are due by March 1.