Homewood-Flossmoor CHSD 223 administrative professional named 2019 Holly Jack Award winner
Date PostedNovember 11, 2019
Pat Gnaster, the executive administrative assistant to the superintendent and recording secretary of Homewood-Flossmoor CHSD 233, is the winner of the 2019 Holly Jack Outstanding Service Award, presented annually for school district and board secretaries. She will be honored Friday, November 22, as part of the Administrative Professionals’ Program taking placing at the Joint Annual Conference in Chicago.
Gnaster was chosen to receive the award by a selection committee of previous Holly Jack winners, Illinois Association of School Administrators and Illinois Association of School Business Officials past presidents, past winners of the Thomas Lay Burroughs Award for school board 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.
Nominations were made by district superintendents and school board presidents. A number of letters of support from current and past District 233 board members, and current superintendent described Gnaster as a problem-solver who leads by example and is rooted in a continuous improvement philosophy.
“Pat Gnaster’s dedication to the school district is unwavering. She is truly the consummate professional who loves what she does and gives her all for our students, staff, school board, and community,” said Von Mansfield, superintendent of Homewood-Flossmoor CHSD 233. “Her unconditional, reassuring, and collective manner has calmed the most challenging parent, staff member, or community member. Her interpersonal skills and problem-solving abilities deescalate these situations as quickly as they are presented. She truly embodies the definition of the ‘unsung hero.’”
Gnaster has served the public education community for 25 years, spending the past 12 years as executive administrative assistant and school board recording secretary for Homewood-Flossmoor CHSD 233. She has been an innovator and taken on responsibilities to manage CPR training for district employees, the acquisition and assignment of EpiPens throughout school facilities, and technology training for board members and district staff.
“Pat constantly goes above and beyond the call of duty and shows initiative daily helping maintain order in the very busy administrative offices,” said Homewood-Flossmoor Board President Steve Anderson. “There is no doubting her passion and commitment to the school district. Pat is a great resource for new and existing board members as well. She is always willing to go the extra mile to assist with any task or information request, allowing the board to be as informed as possible.”
The Holly Jack Outstanding Service Award is presented in memory of long-time Illinois Association of School Boards employee, Holly Jack. Holly Jack served as an IASB field services administrative assistant and was instrumental in creating and promoting professional development programs for board secretaries. The award recognizes the dedication to service and extraordinary work contributions of administrative professionals who serve and assist their local boards of education.