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2007 Conference: Superintendent of the year

'Instructional leader' earns Superintendent of the Year award

Citing instructional leadership for creating a sense of pride in her district, Blondean Y. Davis of Matteson ESD 162 was named Superintendent of the Year for 2008 by the Illinois Association of School Administrators.

Davis, who has led the Matteson district since 2002, praised her school board for its vision and her administrators, teachers and parents for their "passion, caring and just plain hard work" in helping students to high levels of achievement.

Two of the district's schools - Arcadia and Illinois - rank in the top 10 Southland elementary schools on state tests for 2007. Arcadia Elementary students posted a 97.6 percent "meets or exceeds" on the spring ISATs; Illinois Elementary students achieved at a rate of 93.9 percent. In addition, Illinois Elementary, along with O.W. Hunter Elementary and Sauk Elementary were recognized in early November with Academic Improvement Awards from the Illinois State Board of Education, while Sauk and Matteson Elementary were named Spotlight Schools by ISBE.

Davis said each person and team needs to find its own leadership style. But she said, quoting President John Quincy Adams, "If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader."

A product of Chicago Public Schools, Davis earned her masters and doctoral degrees from Loyola University. Before taking as superintendent in Matteson, she was deputy chief education officer for CPS from 1995 to 2001, overseeing the daily management of 600 schools.

Davis said she and her district are "intensely committed" to giving every child the best preparation for life. Because, she added, "If we are to succeed as a nation, our future lies in the hands of the public schools."

Davis will represent Illinois for the national Superintendent of the Year award, to be presented Feb. 15, 2008, at the AASA conference in Tampa.

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