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Superintendent of the Year Award

SchulerDavid Schuler, superintendent of Township High School District 214 in Arlington Heights, was honored at the Second General Session of the Joint Annual Conference as the 2018 Illinois Superintendent of the Year.

Chosen annually by the Illinois Association of School Administrators (IASA), the award was presented Nov. 18 in Chicago. Nominees for the distinction must excel in the following criteria: leadership for learning, communication, professionalism, and community involvement.

Schuler, who became superintendent of Illinois’ second largest high school district in 2005, credited the students, staff, and a supportive school board for the honor. “ High School District 214 is a microcosm of the country. I am truly fortunate to work, hands down, in the best school district in the country,” said Schuler.

While accepting the award, Schuler reminisced about an early experience with his board of education. “At my first school board meeting in District 214, 13 years ago, the board said to me, 'Dave, if everything you're doing is working, you're not pushing the envelope hard enough’,” Schuler recalled. “We call that failing forward.”

During his 13 years as superintendent, he is credited with creating Educator Prep—a teacher preparation program that provides resources, dual-credit opportunities, mentoring, and job placement to students via partnerships with elementary school and postsecondary institutions.

Schuler also implemented a career pathways program that provides students with access to early college credits, industry certification, and career-specific learning experiences.

During his tenure, all six District 214 high schools have ranked amongst the top in the nation, including receiving either a gold or silver medal in U.S. News and World Report’s 2016 rankings.

Schuler began his career as a social studies teacher in Wisconsin, and went on to serve as student activities and athletics director and as a principal before become a superintendent. He was superintendent for districts in Marshall and Stevens Points, Wisconsin, before accepting the position with District 214.

Brent Clark, executive director of IASA, described Schuler as a leader who “is positive, full of energy, and never takes no for an answer.” Clark went on to say, “Dave is one of the people who’s always looking over the horizon determining where we need to be as public school educators and where public schools need to be to best suit and serve school children.”


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