Cole Awards Announced by IASB, Illinois Press Association 

  • Date Posted
    June 9, 2023
  • Category

The Illinois Association of School Boards and the Illinois Press Association have announced the recipients of the 2023 Cole Award. 

In the competition for weekly newspapers, the Cole Award went to the Hillsboro Journal-News and journalists Kyle Herschelman and Mary (Galer) Herschelman for excellent writing and depth of reporting. They explained the work of the school board for Panhandle CUSD 2 in Raymond on a wide range of education issues of local importance.  

In the daily newspaper category, the Cole Award went to the Kankakee Daily Journal and journalist Stephanie Markham for excellent coverage of education issues with complete reporting and plenty of school news. The entry exemplified the newspaper’s role in connecting the public to an understanding of school board work. 

Runners-up were the Champaign News-Gazette from the daily newspaper entries and the Oakland Independent for the weeklies. 

The Robert M. Cole Award for Best School Board Coverage is named for the first full-time executive director of the Illinois Association of School Boards. The award recognizes outstanding coverage of education issues that emphasize the community’s connection with its local public school district. 

For the Cole Award, judges evaluate entries for contribution to public understanding of local school governance and support effective dialogue that helps the community and school board define major public policy issues. Judging criteria also include enterprise, depth of reporting, and clarity of writing. 

The Cole Award and the Press Association’s many editorial prizes were announced on June 8 at the Illinois Press Association annual conference. The Illinois Press Association is one of the largest state press organizations in the country. It provides professional education, government access, and newspaper advertising promotion to members, as well as the Newspapers in Education and other literacy programs and the Capitol News Illinois, a news service.