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Thomas Lay Burroughs Award

Collaborative leadership, social-emotional supports highlight accomplishments

NogalRichard J. Nogal, president of the CHSD 230 ( Orland Park) Board of Education, was named the winner of the 2018 Thomas Lay Burroughs Award.

The Illinois State Board of Education’s (ISBE) Kevin Settle presented the award to Nogal on November 18 at the Third General Session of the IASB/IASA/IASBO Joint Annual Conference.

Introducing the Burroughs Award winner, Settle stated, “Mr. Nogal has led the board to champion collaborative decision-making that welcomes community member participation.”

Settle said this has proven successful, providing direction and stability for the district.

Nogal was nominated for the Burroughs Award, which honors the state’s top school board president, by CHSD 230 Superintendent James A. Gay. In the nomination letter, Gay cited Nogal for setting high goals, and noted the improved success the district has enjoyed in recent years.

Nogal also played a key role as an advocate for the district in contributing to the legislature’s adoption of the state’s new Evidence-Based Funding law last year.   He also helped lead his board to support the whole child by expanding academic opportunities as well as social-emotional supports.

Nogal championed collaborative leadership and decision-making structures by including representatives of stakeholders and staff from across the district on the board's goal-setting and idea-generating committees. Nogal called “Community Connection” meetings to bring together partner school boards, mayors, police and fire chiefs, and township officials, as well as county board members in dialogue to improve their communities.

“Richard Nogal's leadership brings whole communities together on behalf of better outcomes for students," said Settle. “President Nogal demonstrates a deep understanding of the power of positive relationships in making schools safer and communities stronger. I am honored to present the Burroughs Award to President Nogal on behalf of the entire State Board."

Nogal's collaborative leadership resulted in a program called “Period 2: Advisory, Enrichment, and Intervention" that provides dedicated time during the school day for social and emotional learning, individual academic supports, advanced opportunities, and lessons such as digital citizenship, mental health, and post-high school planning.

A district analysis had revealed that students did not have fair access to the supports and opportunities offered before and after school due to personal or co-curricular responsibilities.

Nogal has served the District 230 board for eight years, including six as board president.

The district, which is located in IASB’s South Cook division, is headquartered in Orland Park and serves approximately 7,300 students.

The Burroughs Award, created in 1991, is given annually for extraordinary educational leadership at the local level. Specifically, the award honors leadership:

  • on behalf of improved student learning and educational excellence;
  • in resolving a crisis or major difficulty; and
  • on behalf of equal education opportunities.  

It is named in memory of the late chairman of ISBE who also served as president of the Collinsville CUSD 10 board of education.


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