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Barbara Somogyi wins Burroughs Award

Barbara Somogyi, President of CCSD 59 Board of Education, was honored by the Illinois State Board of Education with the 2005 Thomas Lay Burroughs Award for the State's Outstanding School Board President. The award presentation was made Sunday during third General Session of the Joint Annual Conference.

"We salute Barbara Somogyi for the work, passion and dedication she has shown on behalf of her school district and the students served there," ISBE president Jesse Ruiz said in presenting the award. "Her selfless dedication is to be admired."

Somogyi has a long tenure of service to the suburban Arlington Heights district. She has served as a school board member for 27 years and has served in her present position as Board President for the last three years as well as six additional prior years.

She also represents the North Cook division as a director on the Illinois Association of School Boards.

CCSD 59 is a 14-school, pre-kindergarten through eighth grade district with an enrollment of 6,200 students from Arlington Heights, Des Plaines, Elk Grove Village and Mount Prospect.

Dr. Daniel Schweers, superintendent of CCSD 59, said in a written statement that Somogyi has a deep and abiding commitment "to the belief that the board should adopt policies that facilitate the district's pursuit of better teaching and learning. Her commitment to educational excellence is unwavering and the students of School District 59 are the beneficiaries."

Somogyi said as she accepted the award that it is a "visual reminder" of those who inspired her and her district to "strive for excellence to put what's best for children above all."

She thanked both current and previous administration and CCSD 59 board members for their friendship and support, "for helping me to learn, grow and develop the leadership skills necessary" to be an effective school board member. She also acknowledged her family for understanding the commitment and obligations that board members must have for their service. "I'm sorry I've missed some their important days but glad they were able to share this day with me," she said.

Named after former State Board chairman, Thomas Lay Burroughs, the award was created in 1991 and is presented annually. The criteria for the award are:

  • leadership on behalf of improved student learning and educational excellence;
  • leadership on behalf of equal educational opportunities; and
  • leadership in resolving a crisis or major difficulty.



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