It was an honor to be with members of our School Board and administration as President Rick Nogal was announced as Illinois’ Outstanding School Board President on Sunday morning at the Joint Annual Conference in Chicago, District 230 Supt. Dr. James Gay announced.
Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) Board Member Kevin Settle presented Rick the 2018 Thomas Lay Burroughs Award for the State’s Outstanding School Board President.
Rick has a long history of serving the local community in a collaborative manner that is focused first on ensuring the vision and goals of the organization are met. He has served on the District 230 School Board since 2011, six of those years as its President. Rick’s commitment to the students of District 230 began even earlier as he was a community volunteer on the Student Services Committee for four years prior to being elected to the School Board.
In addition, he also served on the partner district Palos Community Consolidated District 118 Board of Education from 2003 until 2011, including two years as its President. Further showing his commitment to the local community, Rick has served as Chairman of the Board of Directors at Palos Community Hospital, as a Trustee and Commissioner of the Palos Fire Protection District, and Chairman of the Our Lady of the Woods Parish Council. When he is not volunteering in the community, he is a business litigation attorney with Goldstine, Skrodzki, Russian, Nemec and Hoff, Ltd.
“President Nogal’s leadership in District 230 captures all of the qualities the Thomas Lay Burroughs Award represents,” said Settle. “His whole community mindset led him to create Community Connections meetings that bring together partner school boards, mayors, police and fire chiefs, and township and county officials in dialogue to improve and uplift their communities collectively. President Nogal championed collaborative leadership in a decision-making structure that welcomes the sharing of ideas and expertise of board members, administrators, teachers, staff and community members. The Board’s Education, Students Services and Finance Committees meet monthly to share insights that guide the Board’s annual goals.”
Rick has led District 230 with great integrity and passion for assuring all students have equal opportunity to achieve educational excellence. This is evidenced by the collaborative goal-setting process he established that includes idea sharing from board members, administration, teachers and staff which has led to major district initiatives. These include the Period 2 Advisory, Enrichment and Intervention program, as well as Successful Schools – Successful Students Summits related to defining expectations for our graduates, connecting with business leaders to provide job shadowing and internship opportunities, preparing student to enter the trades, making connections with social and emotional learning partners, as well as educational opportunities for families and community members regarding substance use, anxiety and depression, social media and relationship building.
In accepting the award, Rick remarked, “I am honored and humbled. I accept the award not individually but on behalf of the entire board and administration…In District 230 we work closely with our Superintendent and our entire school community to establish, achieve and monitor goals and set a common vision for the benefit of our students. Our Board and Superintendent challenge each other to perform at the highest level and to seek continuous improvement throughout the district.”
Rick is the 27th School Board President to earn this distinction. ISBE created the Burroughs Award in 1991 in memory of the late ISBE Chairman Thomas Lay Burroughs. The award recognizes extraordinary local leadership, in particular in advancing student learning and educational excellence, expanding equal educational opportunities, and resolving major crises or difficulties. ISBE presents the award each November in Chicago at the Joint Annual Conference of the Illinois Association of School Boards, Illinois Association of School Administrators, and Illinois Association of School Business Officials.
You can view the award presentation in this video from the Joint Annual Conference on Sunday.