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2007 Conference: School board president of the year

Metzger receives Thomas Lay Burroughs Award from ISBE

The Illinois State Board of Education presented Mark C. Metzger, school board president for Indian Prairie Community Unit School District 204, with the 2007 Thomas Lay Burroughs Award.

ISBE Chairman Jesse H. Ruiz presented the annual award Nov. 18 at the 2007 Joint Annual Conference of the Illinois Association of School Boards, Illinois Association of School Administrators and Illinois Association of School Business Officials in Chicago.

"On behalf of the state board, I congratulate Mark Metzger for his dedication and commitment to serving as the Indian Prairie school board president for five years of his 16-year service on the board," said Ruiz. "His leadership at both the local and state level is commendable. He exemplifies what it is to be an outstanding board president."

Metzger was first elected to the school board in 1991 when the district had 8,100 students in 10 different schools. Today, Indian Prairie is the fourth largest district in the state and serves more than 29,000 students in 31 schools. Metzger has been very active in IASB business, having completed two years as vice president and is now president of the Association.

"Indian Prairie is fortunate to have a leader like Mark Metzger," said superintendent Stephen Daeschner. "Our entire community, especially our students, have benefited greatly from Mark's commitment to always doing what's best for children."

Last year, Metzger earned the National School Boards Association's Distinguished Service award. He has also been an IASB Master Board Member since 1997.

Accepting the award during Sunday's third general session, the Naperville attorney compared the Burroughs Award to a sports MVP trophy. "I've worked with 23 local board members over the past 16 years; this [award] reflects a winning team," he said.

Metzger also cited a challenge that he heard a Wisconsin school leader issue to his members and added his own. "He said that board members should end their day by looking in the mirror and asking, 'What did you do for kids today'?" I would like to be more aggressive. Board members should look into that same mirror in the morning and ask, 'What will I do for kids today'?

"How? With good governance; govern better and govern with excellence. It all starts with looking in the mirror," he concluded.

ISBE created the award in 1991 to honor the late Thomas Lay Burroughs, who served as chairman of the State Board of Education and the Board of Education for the Collinsville School District. The award recognizes extraordinary educational leadership at the local level, including leadership:

  • in resolving a crisis or major difficulty;
  • in resolving a crisis or major difficulty; and
  • on behalf of equal education opportunities.

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