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April 24, 2002

State Board of Education Presents
Top Award to Maitland

The State Board of Education has designated one of its highest awards for outstanding service to education to Senator John W. Maitland Jr. of Bloomington.

State Superintendent of Education Respicio Vazquez presented the Lou Mervis Award for Distinguished Service to Education to Maitland at Wednesday's session of the Senate Education Committee.

"Senator Maitland is a true statesman, placing the welfare of others - especially school children - at the top of his agenda," said Vazquez. "Millions of students will have better lives because of his strong advocacy for schools.

"He has taken a leadership role in every major effort to improve education in the last two decades, including the education reform acts of 1985, the Illinois Task Force on School Finance in 1993 and the Governor's Commission on Education Funding in 1996. Senator Maitland has been particularly outspoken about the need for funding equity, but there is literally no aspect of education that has not benefited from his leadership and support."

"The state is a better place because of John Maitland's untiring service to the citizens of Illinois, and we at the State Board of Education are especially grateful for his advice and support throughout his exemplary career in public service." Vazquez said.

The Lou Mervis Award for Distinguished Service to Education is named for the Danville businessman who served three terms as chair of the State Board of Education and made extraordinary commitments to education, both locally and at the state level. The award is given annually by the State Board to individuals who have made similar, extraordinary commitments to education.

Previous recipients of the award include State Farm Insurance CEO Ed Rust, who chaired the Illinois Business Roundtable and the national Business Roundtable's Education Committee, and former State Senator Arthur Berman.

Illinois State Board of Education
100 North First Street
Springfield, IL 62777