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Homewood SD 153 President Wins Burroughs Award

Shelly F. Marks, board president in Homewood SD 153, is the winner of the 2011 Thomas Lay Burroughs Award.

Marks was nominated by district superintendent Dale Mitchell for the award that has honored the state's top school board president since 1991. Steven R. Gilford of Evanston, a member of the Illinois State Board of Education, presented the award on behalf of ISBE.

Gilford said Marks' nomination described her as being "highly visible with a very approachable style." In her nine years as board president, he said, the district has cut its achievement gap in half while spending less per pupil than the state average.

"We try to do what's right for the children of Homewood," Marks said in accepting the award.

Marks praised her fellow board members as being dedicated and coming to the table without an agenda. But, she added, it takes everyone from the lunch ladies and the aides on the playground right up to the superintendent and the parents to make things happen.

Marks' two sons from Colorado were present in the audience along with her husband and fellow board members to see her accept the award.

"My sons are like every child who deserves the best education," Marks said. "Our job is to work hard every day despite the obstacles to not just meet but exceed expectations."

District 153 is located 25 miles south of Chicago and serves Homewood as well as parts of Glenwood and Hazel Crest. The pre-K through eighth-grade district has 1,987 students in four buildings.

The award was presented on Sunday, Nov. 20, at the 79th Joint Annual Conference of the Illinois Association of School Boards, Illinois Association of School Administrators and Illinois Association of School Business Officials.

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


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