By Theresa Kelly Gegen
Theresa Kelly Gegen is Editor of the Illinois School Board Journal.
This is the 50th issue of the Illinois School Board Journal that I have had the honor to edit for the members of the Illinois Association of School Boards. Over that time the look has changed a lot, the tone has changed a little, but the mission remains the same: to serve school board members with information and insights to be effective in their governance role.
This issue includes two usual topics of interest to our readers — coverage of the Joint Annual Conference, and the annual study of administrator salaries. Our reporting of each of these has had some twists and turns over the years.
The administrator salaries series began in 1995. From then through the 2010s, teams of academic researchers, mostly over time from Western Illinois University, surveyed school districts for salary information. Nowadays, the state requires districts provide that information to the Illinois State Board of Education, and further requires ISBE to make it publicly available. Technology, and the School Code, have ultimately simplified the work needed to continue this series. And that’s a good thing, if reader reaction and requests are any indication. We are pleased that our readers use this information. This year’s installment in the Administrator Salaries series begins on page 7.
In the old days, the Joint Annual Conference would fill the an extra-large issue of the Journal. Every panel session had a reporter, and IASB printed them all, with a few small black-and-white photographs. For example, following the 1980 Conference, the Journal was 78 pages, all of them black, white, or grey except a spot-color cover that is extremely early ‘80s. This feat of publication engineering was published in January 1981 — the same timeline we use now. And I thought I was busy.
In the intervening 40 years, the Journal cut back its Conference coverage to almost nothing before reinstating it and arriving at where it is today — an overview plus highlights and scenes from each day — in color. If you missed the 2022 Joint Annual Conference, or if you attended and want to see if you “made” any of the photos, our colorful coverage starts on page 12. If you didn’t find yourself in these pages, there’s many more in an online photo gallery at iasb.com/conference.
As always, IASB publishes the Journal with our readers in mind. We’d love to hear from you, especially if you wish to suggest a topic that would help you, or contribute a column or article that might help others, as we serve you with information and insights to be effective in your governance role. And thanks for reading.