Pride of Prairie Award

This Prestigious Award Was Created in 1985 by the PSF.

2023 Pride of Prairie Awardee: Scott Slezak

The Pride of Prairie Award is given to those who have demonstrated loyal commitment and service to the Prairie Schools. The first award was presented in 1985.

The 38th winner of this prestigious award is Scott Slezak. Scott’s nomination came from parents, coaches, and most importantly, boys who have played on his teams.

He has coached the class of 2027 football players for over seven years. In total, he has coached at least 12 teams of boys for over 12 years, meaning that he has coached approximately 500 boys in the course of his volunteer positions. This past season he helped coach the Freshman Football team as a volunteer.

One of Scott’s players, Owen Marxen, shared that “Scott is a great coach who is competitive and cares more about developing us into men than he does about winning.”

Pictured above: Pride of Prairie Awardee Scott Slezak, posing with many of the boys he has coached for over 7 years, who attended the ceremony in support

Prairie Athletic Director Rocky Bennett said “Scott has been a pillar in our community as a parent and youth sports coach and leader of several programs.”

Parent Jennifer Carroll said: “He showed up. Not just as a coach but as a trusted adult that any one of the boys could turn to for any reason.”

Congratulations to Scott for his outstanding service to Prairie as a Coach, and Developer of Boys to Men.

Pride of Prairie General Information

It is presented annually to recognize and show appreciation for the individual or individuals who exemplify the spirit of and a commitment to Prairie Schools.  

Nominations for the award are solicited from residents in the College Community School District in the fall. The nominations must be in writing, provide specific information about the nominee’s contributions to the district and signed by the nominator. Nominations should be sent to Randy Rumery, Executive Director, Prairie School Foundation, 401 76th Avenue SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404-7034 or The nominations are submitted to a volunteer selection committee of five for review. After a thorough review of the nominations, the committee ranks the nominees focusing on men and women who have a reputation as positive role models for all Prairie Students.  

Nominees typically have given some treasure, talent, and time to the Prairie Schools, their teachers, staff, and students. 

Time is Your Greatest Gift

Currently the Pride of Prairie Award is presented by the foundation’s president during the Prairie Foundation Society annual breakfast. Since its inception, the Pride of Prairie Award has been given to 37 individuals, couples or groups.

We Extend Congratulations And Genuine Appreciation to Our Past Recipients:
  • 1985 Mary Hynek
  • 1986 George Joens
  • 1987 Joyce Anderson
  • 1988 Jack Hayes
  • 1989 Larry Hardin
  • 1990 Nancy Cook
  • 1991 Ron Nove
  • 1992 Florence & Bill Glass
  • 1993 Ed Hielers
  • 1994 Joanne Chadima
  • 1995 Bonnie Becicka
  • 1996 Sandy Flatgard
  • 1997 John Randles
  • 1998 Phyl Britcher
  • 1999 Pam & Larry Langton
  • 2000 George Chadima
  • 2001 Glenn Selzer
  • 2002 Becky & Roger Neuhaus
  • 2003 Mick Starcevich
  • 2004 Vicki Hyland
  • 2005 Ken Hanzlik
  • 2006 Craig & Karen Vondracek
  • 2007 Tom & Linda Carver
  • 2008 Marilyn Miller
  • 2009 Patti Joe Scheel
  • 2010 Julie Farmer
  • 2011 Al Soukup
  • 2012 Charter Foundation Members
    • Sherry Pipkin
    • James Macek
    • John Anderson
    • Norman Humble
    • Dwight Hughes
    • Ron Nove
    • Bonnie Becicka
    • Bill Bach
    • George Chadima
  • 2013 Greg & Debbie Erenberger
  • 2014 Kathy Waychoff
  • 2015 Mary & Chuck Gudenkauf
  • 2016 (Spring) Randy Bauer
  • 2016 (Fall) Dean Schrader
  • 2017 Mike Fisher
  • 2017 Mark Smyth
  • 2018 Steve & Terri  Howes
  • 2019 Amy Ellis
  • 2020 No awards due to Covid
  • 2021 No awards due to Covid
  • 2022 Kendra Hanzlik
  • 2023 Scott Slezak


Prairie Fest is the Prairie School Foundation’s most popular and…
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Prairie School Foundation
401 76th Avenue SW
Cedar Rapids, IA 52404-7034
Phone: (319) 848-5200 Ext. 2019