|2012 IASB JOINT ANNUAL CONFERENCE|
Westerhold Named Superintendent Of The Year
Jane L. Beyer Westerhold, superintendent of Des Plaines CCSD 62, has been selected the 2013 Illinois Superintendent of the Year by the Illinois Association of School Administrators (IASA). The award was presented Nov. 18 during the third general session of the 2012 Joint Annual Conference in Chicago.
Westerhold, who has been district superintendent since 2005, has been an educator for more than 35 years, serving as a principal, director of curriculum and instruction and assistant superintendent in various Illinois school districts. Before coming to Des Plaines in 2005, she served as assistant superintendent in Valley View Community School District 365U for four years, and Schaumburg School District 54 for nine years.
“I am extremely honored and humbled to be recognized by my peers, and although I am extremely proud of District 62’s accomplishments over the past eight years, I certainly cannot take the credit in isolation,” Westerhold said.
“I share this award with a Board of Education committed to children, an amazing group of fellow administrators, our teachers and support staff, our parents, our partners, our volunteers, and the boys and girls who are served by us. All of the arrows have to be pointing in the same direction. Our motto is ‘Working Together for our Children’ and this is a true testament.”
Those who nominated Westerhold noted major accomplishments in the Des Plaines district since she became superintendent, including overseeing the successful completion of a Master Plan that included a $109 million school facilities upgrade and the opening last year of a new Early Learning Center. She also was credited with reducing by half the achievement gap between low income and non-low income students, chopping it from 28 percent to 14 percent during an eight-year period.
“While District 62 is not unique in our demographic trends, Dr. Westerhold is unique in her response,” wrote Board President Brenda Murphy in her nominating papers, noting that no fewer than 61 different languages are spoken by students in the Des Plaines district. “She celebrates diversity as an asset, knowing that it allows our students to experience and prepare for the real world every single day in school.”
Murphy also acknowledged Westerhold’s commitment to opening the lines of communication not only with the board and staff, but with the community.
“Providing effective leadership for teaching and learning in the 21st century is a complex responsibility that requires effective communications both within and outside the school district,” the board president said.
“Dr. Westerhold actively develops communication channels that support the success of our diverse population. She works hard to create an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect with staff and community, an area that was of significant concern before her arrival.”
In addition to her work in the community, Westerhold has been very involved in IASA leadership roles, including representing the Cook North Region on the Board of Directors the past four years and currently serving as treasurer of the statewide association that represents more than 1,100 school administrators in Illinois.
Westerhold will represent Illinois in the National Superintendent of the Year Recognition Ceremony during the American Association of School Administrators’ National Conference on Education in February 2013, in Los Angeles.
The National Superintendent of the Year will be announced at that conference. A $10,000 college scholarship will be presented to a student in the high school from which the National Superintendent of the Year graduated or to a senior in a high school from the district in which the superintendent received the award.
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