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January/February 2012

Nomination procedures vary in award programs
by Linda Dawson

Linda Dawson is IASB director/ editorial services and editor of The Illinois School Board Journal.

Question : We saw a number of awards being presented at the 2011 IASB/IASA/IASBO Joint Annual Conference in Chicago. What are these awards and how can we nominate someone for next year?

Answer : The awards presented at conference represent the efforts of a number of different organizations. They recognize the efforts of local school board members, administrators, staff and school architects. Here is a rundown of the awards, who presents them and the deadlines for next year:

The David Binotti Risk Management Award is presented each year to an Illinois school district by Workers’ Compensation Self Insurance (WCSIT). It honors a district that shows a commitment to risk management and loss control through participation with the program. Winning districts are selected by the managers and claims company that provide services to WCSIT and ISDA. They receive a plaque and a tree that is planted on their property to remind them of the importance of reducing the incidence of accidents.

Each year, IASB Service Associates sponsors the Exhibition of Educational Environments to recognize architects and school districts for their outstanding school construction projects. Awards at three levels are given for new construction as well as additions and school renovations: awards of distinction, awards of merit and honorable mention. Entry forms are mailed and posted each June, with a deadline for entries in late July. Entries then are evaluated on a blind basis by a team of district superintendents and architects who do not have projects entered for the year.

The Superintendent of the Year award is presented by the Illinois Association of School Administrators, and the recipient also becomes eligible for the American Association of School Administrators award, which is given out each February. Nomination forms are available on IASA’s website ( on June 1 and are due at IASA offices in Springfield by the close of business on September 30.

The Ronald E. Everett Illinois ASBO Distinguished Service Award is named for the organization’s former executive director to recognize diligence, superior performance and achievements in service to the school business profession. Nomination forms are available on the organization’s website at and are due by December 15 each year. Members of Illinois ASBO’s Foundation Governance Committee, board of directors, immediate family of those two bodies and previous award winners are not eligible.

The Thomas Lay Burroughs Award has been presented by the Illinois State Board of Education since 1991 to an outstanding school board president and is named for the late ISBE chairman who also was president of the Collinsville CUSD 10 board of education. It recognizes extraordinary educational leadership at the local level, including the following leadership criteria: on behalf of improved student learning and educational excellence; in resolving a crisis or major difficulty; and on behalf of equal education opportunities.

The Holly Jack Outstanding Service Award named its third recipient at the 2011 Joint Annual Conference. The award recognizes the accomplishments of a school district secretary and is named for a long-time IASB administrative assistant in the Lombard office, Holly Jack, who died in 2008. Nomination forms are mailed to districts in mid-March as well as being available at, with an August 1 deadline to enter.

This was the first year to recognize recipients in IASB’s School Board Governance Recognition program, which acknowledges school boards that learn and practice effective governance behaviors as identified in the Association’s Foundational Principles of Effective Governance. The primary focus of the program is on full board development and participation rather than individual board member efforts, which are recognized by IASB’s Master Board Member program and the LeaderShop Academy. These governance awards are good for two years, but will be awarded annually. For more information, log in to IASB’s members-only site and learn about the program at

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