---- — Editor:
The Illinois State Board of Education recently paid tribute to Craig Hedin and Steve Wallace for their outstanding contributions to education. Recognition from the ISBE is a tremendous honor for these two men.
I also applaud Mr. Hedin and Mr. Wallace for the effort they put forth in providing outstanding leadership and guidance for District 80. During my 28 years as a school administrator working with Board of Education, I can honestly say they both rank as two of the most dedicated and conscientious board members I have known.
Mr. Hedin served as a member of the District 80 Board of Education for a total of 16 years, and Mr. Wallace served the past 12 years. But being a legendary school board member is not just about longevity. Both were very in tune with the staff and community which provided valuable insight during board meetings. Both made frequent visits to the schools, and their involvement in the community earned them reputations of being sincerely concerned about doing what was best for the students in Mt. Vernon, but accountable to the taxpayer. Both had sincere respect for the District 80 staff which created a climate of trust and cooperation.
Mr. Hedin and Mr. Wallace have been visionary board members, leading District 80 through strategic planning and goal setting. Their ultimate goal was to provide the best educational opportunities possible for all students while operating within a fixed budget. Although this created a fine line in which to govern, they did so with phenomenal results. The decisions they made during their tenure helped move the district from the state’s Early Financial Warning List to Financial Recognition. During the same time, test scores in every school increased significantly, and major improvements were made to the District 80 facilities. All of this was accomplished while providing the staff with reasonable cost of living increases.
Thank you Mr. Hedin and Mr. Wallace. It was an honor and pleasure to serve as your superintendent for nine years. Your dedication and commitment to the students, staff, parents and community members has been second to none. Congratulations on your well deserved recognition by the Illinois State Board of Education.
Dr. Kevin Settle
Mt. Vernon City Schools