MACOMB -- An Industry resident and valued employee in the Regional Office of Education #26 serving westcentral Illinois is one of the inaugural winners of a new statewide education award.
The Illinois Coalition for Educating At-Risk Youth (ICEARY) added an Excellence in Education award for nominated recipients from across the state to its annual statewide conference in Bloomington this year. Among the winners, recognized for their exemplary service for at-risk youth, is Kim Featherlin of the Academy for Secondary Education for ROE26.
Featherlin, head teacher at the Academy for Secondary Education and McDonough County Learning Center in Macomb, was honored alongside two other educators. "This was a tremendous honor to be nominated and win this award, because working with at-risk youth is where my heart is," Featherlin said. "By recognizing educators who work with our vulnerable students, we're shining a light on the importance of educating students of all backgrounds, abilities and paths.
"I try to live by and ask my students to live by this quote from Abraham Lincoln that I include in my email signature: 'Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed, is more important than any other one thing.' I want to thank the Coalition for their recognition and the motivation to keep helping students reach their potential."
The Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents of Schools also proudly sponsors ICEARY's annual Outstanding Student Awards, in recognition of students from all over Illinois who move past obstacles in their lives to succeed. Five students were nominated, and Skyshauna Lowery of High Mount School was the overall winner.
ROE26 Regional Superintendent John Meixner said Kim Featherlin's award and the work of regional superintendents to recognize students who face challenges to learn and grow is an important recognition of the critical role ROE26 and other ROEs play in school outcomes.
"Kim embodies the tireless, selfless approach all of our staff and educators bring to the office and the classroom every day to help students succeed," Meixner said. "We're so proud of her and thankful to ICEARY for recognizing unsung heroes who make such a difference in the lives of children who need it."