By TESA GLASS firstname.lastname@example.org
---- — MT. VERNON — District 80 City Schools board members Craig Hedin and Steve Wallace have been honored by the Illinois State Board of Education during its meeting March 20.
Hedin, who is the current board president, has served a total of 16 years on the board; Wallace has served as a board member for 12 years.
The ISBE approved the resolutions honoring the two at its meeting on in Belleville.
"Craig is described as a visionary who acted as a leader through strategic planning and goal setting sessions that enabled the district and community to clearly see the direction the district was heading," the resolution states. "Craig has been a tireless advocate for improving education by supporting lower class sizes, employing instructional coaches, increasing professional development efforts and creating after-school programs all of which led to increased test scores in every District 80 school. ... Craig's friendly demeanor, coupled with his high visibility in the schools he serves and the community have enabled Craig to build positive, trusted relationships with administration, staff and parents that have helped produce productive contract agreements that assisted in leading the district away from the early warning list and onto financial recognition status."
Wallace is recognized in part for his knowledge of the staff and community, which has helped his fellow board members resolve many of the challenges faced by the district.
"Steve's inquiring mind enabled him to ask informed questions that encouraged the board to consider information from various viewpoints before decisions were made," the resolution states. "Steve's leadership on the financial committee, coupled with his sharp attention to detail and deep understanding of finances afforded the board with the ability to make wise financial decisions that helped move District 80 to financial recognition status. ... Steve's tireless efforts on the building and grounds committee helped complete major renovations to three schools and begin construction of a new school building without increasing taxes or the use of a school construction grant."
Hedin served on the board from 1980 to 1988; then from 2005 to 2013. He and Wallace's last board meeting will be May 6.
"I'm most proud of the board member I served with," Hedin said. "They have always been outstanding citizens with nothing but the best interests of the children in mind. I have never known a board member to ask for anything inappropriate or anything for a selfish pupose."
Hedin said he is also proud of the district being able to maintain high standards and "provide a terrific education to our kids."
Wallace said he is also proud of working with the board.
"I'm proud of doing what's best for kids and education," Wallace said. "I'm very proud of the board of education as a whole, actually, not just myself. We all strive to do what's best for kids, and be fiscally responsible with the taxpayer's money. I think we've done a good job of that. I... I'm very thankful to be associated with a board that has many caring, compassionate people who are unified in doing what is right for kids and with an excellent staff at District 80 who care about children."