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For Immediate Release
November 19, 2006

Brian Waitkus named 2006 Thomas Lay Burroughs Award winner by Illinois State Board of Education

La Salle Elementary District school board president honored for dedication

Springfield, Ill. – Brian Waitkus, president of La Salle Elementary District #122, was honored today by Dr. Christopher J. Ward, vice-chair of the Illinois State Board of Education, with the 2006 Thomas Lay Burroughs Award during the annual joint conference of the Illinois Association of School Boards, Illinois Association of School Administrators and Illinois Association of School Business Officials in Chicago.

“The State Board of Education is honored to recognize Brian Waitkus for the work, passion and dedication he has shown thru his years of service on the La Salle school board,” Ward said. “His leadership to improve educational opportunities and learning for LaSalle students should be admired.”

Waitkus has served on the La Salle school board since 1991. This November marked his ninth year as school board president of the elementary district, which has an enrollment of 920 students in grades pre-K through eighth-grade.

“Mr. Waitkus addresses crises and difficulties with courage and patience. He is able to reach consensus in solving a problem,” Dr. Joan McGuire, La Salle Elementary District Superintendent, wrote in her nomination letter for Waitkus. “The board is informed and educated by Brian in a calm, non-judgmental fashion. He has earned the respect of the students, teachers, administration and community.”

Named after a former State Board chairman, the Thomas Lay Burroughs Award was created in 1991 and is presented annually. The criteria for the award are:

  • leadership on behalf of improved student learning and educational excellence;
  • leadership on behalf of equal educational opportunities; and
  • leadership in resolving a crisis or major difficulty.

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