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2012 Holly Jack Outstanding Service Award

Debra Williams, board recording secretary and administrative assistant to the superintendent of Arlington Heights School District 25, was the recipient of the fourth annual Holly Jack Outstanding Service Award for school district secretaries.

She was honored on Sunday at the 80 th Joint Annual Conference of the Illinois Association of School Boards, Illinois Association of School Administrators and Illinois Association of School Business Officials, Nov. 16-18, in Chicago.

Williams was chosen to receive the award from a list of 31 nominees. She has been the administrative assistant to the current superintendent since 1991 and has served as recording secretary for five years. AHSD25 is an elementary district serving 5,100 students.

“Ms. Williams has served the district, community, school board, and superintendent’s office with tireless devotion, diplomacy, patience, grace, and poise beyond the scope of any job description. She has served with distinction and courage,” wrote Sarah Jerome, District 25 superintendent in her award nomination.

“(Debra) represents the district in the most professional manner and creates community partnerships that have life-changing impact on families in the AHSD25 community.”

Williams’s accomplishments included her work with a number of community agencies that have come together in an annual event to provide materials and services necessary to assure that every child is ready for school, and her work with the coordinator of the district’s cultural exchange program with the city of Shitara, Japan.

Accepting the award at the Third General Session on Sunday, Nov. 18, at the 2012 Joint Annual Conference in Chicago, Williams acknowledged that the award recognizes her role as part of a winning team. “I am blessed to work with many great people in District 25,” she said.

Williams also said “the district’s strategic-vision is to be ‘wired’ for success and understanding,” with WIRED being an acronym whose meaning has been the key to her own success: “We Integrate, Reflect, Engage, Discover, and Engage,” she said.

A selection committee composed of individuals representing board members, superintendents, district administrative assistants, and IASB administrative assistants reviewed the nominating materials and made the selection in late October.

Nominations were made by district superintendents and school board presidents. The judges considered the following criteria: performance, initiative, innovation, staff development, self-improvement, passion for public education, and dedication. Letters of support were also accepted.

The award was created to honor the memory of the late Holly Jack, a long-time IASB employee, who served as a field services administrative assistant and was instrumental in promoting and developing the secretaries’ program that is offered at the Conference.

The award is to honor Holly’s contribution and memory and to recognize the extraordinary work and valuable service provided by secretaries who serve and assist their local boards of education.


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