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Holly Jack Outstanding Service Award

Wehrheim The 2018 Holly Jack Outstanding Service Award was presented to Linda Wehrheim, the executive assistant to the superintendent and board secretary of Winnetka SD 36, during the opening session of Administrative Professionals' program on Friday, November 16.

Wehrheim became the 10th winner of the annual award for the school district secretaries who go above and beyond their responsibilities with the district office, students, parents, and the community.

During the award presentation, Wehrheim's work was described as "mission critical" to Winnetka SD 36. She takes on responsibilities including technology best practices, meeting organization, and establishment of a human resources department, among others. She was praised for her ability as a problem-solver who wears many hats and as the "board packet master."

"I'm blessed to go to work each day," Wehrheim said, after offering some words of wisdom for administrative professionals in attendance. "Holly understood the importance of developing competence in your areas of responsibility. Everyone has something to contribute. Take on the opportunity for problem-solving to move district goals and outcomes forward. Strive to meet the needs of students and their educational outcomes."

In nominating Wehrheim for the award, Trish Kocanda, superintendent of Winnetka SD 36, called Wehrheim "a life-long learner." Kocanda added, "She is continually trying to improve her skill set and is an effective systems thinker. She is immersed in coursework in human relations at a local university… and generously shares her knowledge and resources to enhance district outcomes."

Wehrheim has served as executive assistant to the Winnetka SD 36 superintendent and board since 2009, winning praise for her enthusiasm, dedication, and competence.

"In all of my years in education, Ms. Wehrheim stands out as one of the most hard-working, professional, and conscientious co-workers I have ever met," wrote Assistant Superintendent Daniel P. Ryan in the nomination. "While her work is exemplary, it is Wehrheim's generous spirit and deep commitment to what is best for children that makes her stand out even more. Our administrative team constantly engages in discourse around curriculum and other areas to best serve our students…. [and] Ms. Wehrheim is a full participant … her perspectives help the administrative team with our decision-making process."

The 2018 Holly Jack Award winner was chosen by a selection committee of previous Holly Jack winners, Illinois Association of School Administrators and Illinois Association of School Business Officials past presidents, and retired administrative professionals.

The judges considered the following criteria: performance, initiative, innovation, staff development, self-improvement, passion for public education, and dedication to the district and community. Letters of support were also accepted.

Wehrheim concluded her remarks with a simple message for the audience, "Our job is never-ending. Our jobs are hard. But, it is oh-so worth it."

The Outstanding Service Award honors the memory of Holly Jack, a long-time employee of the Illinois Association of School Boards, who served as an IASB field services administrative assistant and was instrumental in promoting and developing professional development programs for board secretaries. The award honors Holly Jack's contributions and also recognizes the dedication and extraordinary work contributions of administrative professionals who serve and assist their local boards of education.


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