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Superintendent of the Year Award

"It's a great day to be a Titan!" exclaimed Robert Gillum, superintendent of Ball-Chatham CUSD 5. His enthusiastic comment concluded his remarks after winning the Illinois Superintendent of the Year Award.

The award was announced Sunday, Nov. 21, during the third general session of the Joint Annual Conference of the Illinois Association of School Boards, Illinois Association of School Administrators and the Illinois Association of School Business Officials.

Gillum, who has led the unit district south of Springfield for the past four years, will now represent Illinois in the National Superintendent of the Year honors.

Greeted by a standing ovation, Gillum quickly acknowledged that many people contributed to his success. "Without the support of my wife, a cohesive board of education, an amazing administrative team, talented and committed teachers, a hard working support staff, focused learners and nurturing parents functioning as a learning organization, this recognition could not be possible.

"I share this award with the entire Ball-Chatham community," he said.

Gillum, who has held leadership positions in IASA, AASA, LUDA, and other education organizations, also credited Chicago public schools for his own progress. Having grown up in gang-torn neighborhoods, Gillum said it was coaches who helped deflect and divert his childhood anger to sports and academics.

He suggested that school leaders do the same. "Quit worrying about test scores and do what's best for children. We want to do things right, but we must do the right things. When we do that, the scores will take care of themselves."

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