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Trust underlies success for Burroughs recipient

Jane Wojtkiewicz, this year's recipient of the Thomas Lay Burroughs Outstanding School Board President Award, credits her district's success to the high level of trust shared among the board, the administration and the staff at East Maine School District 63 in Des Plaines.

That high level of trust gives added strength to her board, and "no one needs to tell you how important it is to have a strong board team," Wojtkiewicz said as she accepted her award from Randy Dunn, interim state superintendent, and Jesse Ruiz, chairman of the Illinois State Board of Education. "I truly appreciate the support and encouragement we get from the superintendent," she added.

A board member at East Maine SD 63 for 13 years, Wojtkiewicz's nomination cited increased achievement levels all across the PreK-8 districts' seven buildings and a referendum campaign in November that showed "remarkable courage" at bringing people together for its passage.

Wojtkiewicz, however, credited her fellow board members for their willingness to learn all that they can, adding that all have achieved Master School Board Member status through the Illinois Association of School Boards' program.

"You don't choose board service for individual recognition," Wojtkiewicz said, "but I'm glad to be appreciated."

The Outstanding School Board President Award is presented annually in honor of Thomas Lay Burroughs, former ISBE chairman who died in 1991 from complications of Crohn's disease. Burroughs, who also served as president of the Collinsville SD 10 school board, represented the fourth generation of his family to serve that district.

The award seeks to recognize the qualities of outstanding leadership on behalf of improved student learning and educational excellence; outstanding leadership on behalf of equal educational opportunities; and outstanding leadership in resolving a crisis or major difficulty.



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