Dr. Steve Webb, superintendent of Goreville CUSD #1, has been named the 2022 Illinois Superintendent of the Year by the Illinois Association of School Administrators.
The award was presented Sunday (November 21) during the Joint Annual Conference in Chicago co-sponsored by the Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB), the Illinois Association of School Business Officials (IASBO) and IASA. Nominees are judged on the following criteria: pandemic response, academic achievement, preparing students for the future, social-emotional support, teaching and instruction, equity strategies and leadership.
“I am extremely honored to be named the 2022 Illinois Superintendent of the Year when so many superintendents across the state and nation are doing such extraordinary things to help children cope with the present and future,” said Dr. Webb, who has served as superintendent of Goreville CUSD #1 for 19 years and has been an educator for 29 years. “I share this recognition with every single person who has guided me and helped shape my values. I truly am a product of a tremendous community and a family I love very deeply, who weathers the storm of public duty with me. I will forever cherish this award and will continue to love and nurture the kids in our care and hopefully make a difference one child at a time.”
Under Dr. Webb’s leadership, Goreville CUSD #1 deployed innovative COVID-19 mitigation tactics to remain in person throughout the 2020-21 school year, including purchasing mobile carts at the middle school to allow teachers to switch classrooms instead of students and employing additional medical staff and reading coaches.
As superintendent, Dr. Webb has also overseen numerous improvements that helped elevate student success and improve the quality of teaching and instruction in the district, which is located in deep southern Illinois. His accomplishments include:
- Expanded pre-K programs to full day for all 3- and- 4-year old students in the district.
- Partnered with Shawnee Community College to offer 33 college dual credits at no cost to Goreville High School students before they graduate.
- Created a premier Certified Nursing Program and expanded college and career preparation by offering certification training in auto mechanics and food service.
- Worked with parents, teachers and administrators to expand the school day to provide more targeted support for students.
- Added 15 new sports and club teams to enhance the student experience in Goreville CUSD #1.
- Adopted a 1:1 technology initiative in 2014 that allowed the district to close the poverty gap and helped the pivot to remote learning in the 2019-20 school year.
- Established a Learning Partnership Team that includes teachers, parents, administrators and board members that meets monthly to establish strategic planning and transparent communication.
- Developed a student journalism program and launched the Goreville News newspaper after the community’s newspaper closed.
Dr. Webb is also a national leader on school safety issues and is one of first superintendents in the nation to become a certified police officer. He currently serves as Goreville CUSD #1’s school resource officer.
“Dr. Webb has taken our school district and community to incredible new heights with his visionary leadership,” said Steve Benard, Goreville CUSD #1 School Board President. “He does not see problems — he sees potential and he stops at nothing to figure out a way to make it benefit kids.”
Todd Tripp, Goreville CUSD #1 Athletic Director, added Dr. Webb is unlike any school administrator he has ever worked with.
“His love for kids is evident every single day as he walks the halls and hangs out in classrooms just to talk with teachers and kids to see how they are doing in their environment,” Tripp said. “He leads by example for both students and staff as his passion for their success emanates from everything he does or proposes.”
The Illinois Association of School Administrators (IASA) is the state’s premier advocacy organization for school administrators with about 1,750 members. Dr. Brent Clark, executive director of IASA, described Dr. Webb as a student-focused leader who is deeply committed to improving educational outcomes for students and lifting up the entire Goreville community. Dr. Webb grew up in Goreville and returned to the community as superintendent in 2002 after leading Thompsonville CUSD #174 as superintendent for three years and Joppa High School as the Athletic Director, Principal and Boys Basketball Coach from 1992-1999. He is also an adjunct professor for Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and McKendree University in Lebanon, IL.
“Dr. Webb has elevated Goreville CUSD #1 by closing the digital divide, increasing extra-curricular activities, providing increased academic and social-emotional supports and developing programs that set students up for success after high school,” Dr. Clark said. “But his impact really extends beyond increased resources and programs. Dr. Webb has fostered a culture and environment where students and staff are excited to come to school each day. Goreville has truly embraced a whole-child approach to education.”
Dr. Webb has received numerous honors throughout his career. In July, he received the “2021 National Safe School Leadership Award” by the National Association of School Resource Officers. He’s also been recognized by the National School Public Relations Association Illinois Chapter with a “Distinguished Service of Excellence Award” and McKendree University named him an “Academy of Excellence Education Alumni of the Year.”
Dr. Webb currently serves on the AASA, the national School Superintendents Association, Executive Committee. He is a former IASA President and is a member of the Illinois Terrorism Task Force School Safety Working Group. In addition, Dr. Webb has presented at more than 100 conferences and trainings across the nation on school safety issues and authored the book, Education in a Violent World: A Practical Guide to Keeping Our Kids Safe.
Illinois Superintendent of the Year ProgramThis award, presented annually by the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) and VALIC recognizes outstanding leadership among the ranks of superintendents. The recipients are listed beginning with the first year of IASA’s sponsorship of this award.• Dr. Steve Webb, Goreville CUSD #1• Dr. Donna Leak, CCSD #168 (watch video)• Dr. Kevin Blankenship, Scott-Morgan CUSD #2 and Winchester CUSD #1 (watch video)• Dr. Gary Kelly, DuQuoin CUSD #300 - 2019 (watch video)• David R. Schuler, Township HSD #214 - 2018• Jason D. Henry, Sesser-Valier CUSD #196 - 2017• Judy Hackett, Northwest Suburban Special Education Organization (NSSEO) - 2016• Thomas E. Bertrand, Rochester Comm Unit #3A - 2015• Kelly Stewart, Benton #103 - 2014• Jane L. Westerhold, Des Plaines CC #62 - 2013• Peter Flynn, Freeport #145 - 2012• Edward F. Rafferty, Schaumburg CC #54 - 2010• Mark Friedman, Libertyville #70 - 2009• Blondean Y. Davis, Matteson Elem #162 - 2008• Kevin L. Settle, Mount Vernon #80 - 2007• Thomas F. Leahy, Quincy #172 - 2006• Frances B. Karanovich, Macomb Comm #185 - 2005• James T. Rosborg, Belleville #118 - 2004• David B. Van Winkle, Valley View #365U - 2003• Robert S. Nielsen, Bloomington #87 - 2002• James Burgett, Highland Comm #5 - 2001• Gerald D. Chapman, Palatine Twp HS #211 - 2000• John G. Conyers, Palatine CC #15 - 1999• Marvin E. Edwards, Elgin #U-46 - 1998• Dorothy M. Weber, Arlington Heights #25 - 1997• Robert C. Stevens, Glenbard Twp HS #87 - 1996• Joel W. Morris, West Chicago CUSD #94 - 1995• Barbara S. Devlin, Villa Park Elem #45 - 1994• Thomas G. Scullen, Indian Prairie CUSD #204 - 1993• Jean B. McGrew, Northfield Twp HS #225 - 1992
• James L. Elliott, Maine Twp HS #207 - 1991
Congratulations to Dr. David R. Schuler, AASA's
2018 National Superintendent of the Year!
CLICK TO VIDEO https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y1oLKKWI0sADr. David R. Schuler of High School District 214 in Arlington Heights, IL, has been named the 2018 National Superintendent of the Year by the American Association of School Administrators (AASA). He is the first Illinois Superintendent to be named to such honor.The award was presented today (February 15) during the National Conference on Education in Nashville, Tennessee.In his acceptance speech, with excitement and humility, he thanked all who supported him. "The credit truly goes to the students, staff and the extremely supportive school board of High School District 214," said Schuler, who oversees the state's second-largest high school district, with more than 12,000 students at six high schools and four specialized learning programs in the northwest suburbs of Cook County. The district includes Buffalo Grove HS, Elk Grove HS, John Hersey HS, Prospect HS, Rolling Meadows HS and Wheeling HS. "High School District 214 is a microcosm of the country. I am truly fortunate to work in, hands down, the best school district in the country."He urged us to tell our stories and to never stop supporting all children and public education. "We have the most amazing opportunity to change our Districts, Communities, State and Nation by what we do." He expressed our obligation to our students and to be their advocates to do what is right and just. In true form, he ended with a challenge to us all to never stop doing what is right for all children, especially for our most needy. His commitment and dedication to public education was evident and inspiring.
Dr. Brent Clark, Executive Director of IASA, said of Schuler: "He is intuitive, always looking over the horizon, full of energy and never takes "no" for an answer. He sees a need and finds a way to address it, he sees the future and embraces it, that's leadership. I think Dave is one of the people who's always looking into the future and determining where we need to be as public school educators and where public schools need to be to best suit and serve school children."Schuler began his career as a Social Studies teacher in Wisconsin. He also served as a student activities and athletics director and principal before becoming a school superintendent. He was superintendent in Marshall (WI) and Stevens Points (WI) before becoming head of District 214 in 2005. He attained his Bachelor's Degree from Carroll University, and his Master's in Educational Administration and Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Wisconsin. He and his partner have two children, Maliah (6) and Gavin (4).Please join us in congratulating and honoring Dr. David Schuler. We are so very proud of you, Dr. Schuler.
“I’m so honored and privileged to serve as superintendent of High School District 214. This award (is) an amazing recognition of the work that our team, our kids and our families have done,” said Schuler as a 2018 National Superintendent of the Year® finalist. “The National Superintendent of the Year® award elevates our profession and our vocation by celebrating the work that we all do. This award goes to one person, but it’s a reflection of the work that all superintendents do on a daily basis.”Some of Schuler's accomplishments during his 12-year tenure as Superintendent of District 214 include:
- Having all six high schools in the district consistently ranked among the best in the state and country. In U.S. News and World Report's 2016 ranking, all six schools earned either a Gold or Silver medal, and were named among the top 45 public schools in the state. All six schools also were ranked in the top 11 percent in the nation in a Washington Post study that assessed the level of rigor in schools.
- Achieving awards and recognition for financial excellence, including a perfect 4.0 score from the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) on the district's Financial Profile Designation.
- Creating Educator Prep, a teacher preparation program that provides resources, dual-credit opportunities, mentoring and job placement to students through partnerships with elementary schools and postsecondary institutions. The program is designed to empower the next generation of teachers with a specific focus on solidifying minority students' interest in the education profession.
- Implementing a Career Pathways program that provides students with rigorous courses, access to early college credits, industry certifications, and personalized, career-specific learning experiences. Students have 44 career pathways from which to choose, there are 2,700 annual student workplace learning experiences, and in one year students earned 34,565 early college credits.
A national education leader, Schuler served as the 2015-16 president of AASA. He leads AASA’s Redefining Ready! program, an initiative to introduce new research-based metrics to more appropriately assess that students are college ready, career ready and life ready. His push to make college more accessible and affordable has led to a comprehensive career pathways program that offers personalized learning experiences through early college credit, internships and career credentials, and the passage of critical education legislation. In a single year, District 214 earned more than 27,000 early college credits.
“As we honor the National Superintendent of the Year®, today marks a special day not only for the honoree, but the critical roles superintendents play when it comes to creating successful pathways for the future leaders of our country,” said Robert Scheinerman, president, group retirement, VALIC, a division of AIG. “VALIC is proud to serve as a co-sponsor for the AASA National Superintendent of the Year® program. We congratulate the 2018 Superintendent of the Year®, David Schuler, along with the finalists and all of the State Superintendents of the Year who contribute so much to the advancement of public education.”
Superintendents are vital to the success of our public schools. First Student is thrilled to congratulate David Schuler as the 2018 National Superintendent of the Year®,” said Dennis R. Maple, president, First Student. “David, the three other finalists and the State Superintendents of the Year all exemplify the highest standards when it comes to leading a school district. We are honored to partner with AASA in a program that has a profound impact on the lives of students throughout our country.
“On behalf of the nation’s 50 million students attending our public schools today, it is an honor to congratulate David Schuler for his outstanding contributions to our society,” said Daniel A. Domenech, executive director, AASA. “We also congratulate our three other finalists, Superintendents Robinson, Sieu and Winstead, as well as our State Superintendents of the Year. These individuals are all champions for children and we are excited to recognize them at our national conference where we annually convene the sharpest minds in our field. I commend VALIC and First Student for sponsoring our program because it shines a positive light on the superintendency while showcasing the tireless work being done in school buildings throughout our country.”
The AASA National Superintendent of the Year® program is open to all U.S. superintendents who plan to continue in the profession. The program also honors Canadian and other international school superintendents. The applicants are measured against the following criteria:
- Leadership for learning – creativity in successfully meeting the needs of students in the school system;
- Communication – strength in both personal and organizational communication;
- Professionalism – constant improvement of administrative knowledge and skills, while providing professional development opportunities and motivation to others on the education team; and
- Community involvement – active participation in local community activities and an understanding of regional, national and international issues.
A $10,000 college scholarship will be presented in the name of the 2018 AASA National Superintendent of the Year® to a student in the high school from which the superintendent graduated, or the school now serving the same area.
For more information about the program, contact Jennifer Rooney, AASA assistant director, meetings, at email@example.com.