|2017 IASB JOINT ANNUAL CONFERENCE|
Holly Jack Outstanding Service Award
Clare Bourne of Crystal Lake Elementary District 47 accepted the 2017 Holly Jack Outstanding Service Award during the opening session of the Administrative Professionals’ Program at this year’s Joint Annual Conference. Bourne serves as both the superintendent’s administrative assistant and board of education secretary for District 47. She is the ninth recipient of the annual award.
Bourne has worked for District 47 since 1998. She began her time at Crystal Lake as a classroom aid and then as the substitute coordinator. In 2002, she was employed as executive administrative assistant and took on the role of board secretary. She has served continuously in both positions.
Calling the recognition a “humbling experience” during her acceptance speech, Bourne said, “It is an honor to be placed in a circle of professionals who show such a passion for their community.”
Bourne compared the duties of an administrative assistant to that of being a grandparent. “When you start out, you don’t know exactly what you are doing. No two days are ever the same,” she said. “But it is an absolute joy to empower the students and staff in our district. We get to celebrate the victories and accomplishments. I imagine Holly Jack as a grandparent. She would beam with pride at the power to benefit and celebrate the successes of our students and communities.”
The award was created to honor the memory of Jack, a long-time IASB employee who served as a field services administrative assistant and was instrumental in creating training programs for board and district secretaries. The purpose of the award is to both honor her contribution and memory and to recognize the extraordinary work and service provided by secretaries who serve and assist their local boards of education.
Nominations are made by district superintendents and school board presidents. A selection committee comprised of previous award winners, superintendents, school business officials, and retired administrative professionals select the recipient on the following criteria: performance, initiative, innovation, staff development, self-improvement, passion for public education, and dedication to the district and community.
“For the past 15 years, Clare has unselfishly dedicated her time and talent to efficiently and compassionately assist our district superintendent, and the board of education, in serving our local school community. She allows our school district to operate seamlessly and effortlessly,” according to Rob Fetzner and Betsy Les, district 47 board president and vice president.
“Clare builds positive relationships with most everyone she meets in our district. She takes a personal interest in her colleagues and is one of the first to volunteer to provide assistance whenever it is needed,” they wrote.
Kathy Hinz, superintendent of Crystal Lake 47, called Bourne “a knowledgeable, dedicated, passionate face” for families, staff, and the community. Hinz added, “Her attention to detail, consistency in her actions and decisions, and adherence to board policy is an asset to the entire organization. The district is beyond blessed to have someone like Clare Bourne working in the superintendent’s office and supporting our board of education.”
Her passion is also seen in her participation each year in the “Bowl for Kids’ Sake” district team, a fundraiser for the local chapter of Big Brothers/Big Sisters, according to Hinz.
But it’s Bourne’s passion for the district and its students that’s most evident. She often helps to refocus or re-energize fellow staff, Hinz noted, by asking, “What’s best for the students?”
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