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Huddlestun Receives Burroughs Award

Fred Huddlestun, who has served 14 years on the Jasper County CUSD 1 board of education, was named the Outstanding School Board President for 2009 by the Illinois State Board of Education at the closing session of the 77th IASB/IASA/IASBO Joint Annual Conference.

Huddlestun, who has served that entire time as his board president, received the Thomas Lay Burroughs Award and was acknowledged for his long-time service as well as for his leadership in numerous areas.

"As a team we've accomplished a lot," Huddlestun said as he accepted his award from Chris Ward, ISBE vice chair, "as individuals, not as much."

He thanked his fellow board members and the administrators who have served the district during his tenure, current superintendent Ron Alburtus and retired superintendent Wayne Savageau, adding that a board president or a superintendent of the year would not look nearly as good without a cooperative board.

During Huddlestun's tenure on the board, the district went through a consolidation that drew considerable opposition, Ward said in his introduction. Now, six years later, he said, even those opponents see the tremendous benefits to the district.

Huddlestun and the Jasper County board also oversaw the revision of curriculum, addition of a required computer concepts course for all high school students, implementation of a new sex-ed curriculum at the middle school and an increase in overall test scores in the district from 67 percent "meets or exceeds" in 2002 to 80 percent in 2009.

The Burroughs Award for extraordinary leadership is named for the late chairman of the Illinois State Board of Education who also served as president of the Collinsville CUSD 10 board.

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