MARC TEPPER PhotoI’m pleased to inform you that our Kildeer Countryside Community Consolidated School District 96 Superintendent Julie Schmidt has been named the 2016 Lake County Superintendent of the Year.

This recognition–announced at the Lake County Superintendent’s meeting on May 18–honors Mrs. Schmidt’s significant contributions and active leadership of public school superintendents.

Julie Schmidt has been superintendent of School District 96 since 2010. Our Early Childhood-through-Grade 8 school district of approximately 3100 students is a highly collaborative learning community committed to professional development for teachers and faculty. This district is known for successful students, strong academics, and sound financial stewardship and is, as well, the largest sender district to Stevenson High School.

Mrs. Schmidt’s dedication to meeting the needs of all students is inspiring. “Every child, every school, every day” is a District value that guides her efforts. Examples include her years of focused work to help establish and support the Exceptional Learners Collaborative–the special education cooperative serving children in Kildeer 96, Prairie View/Lincolnshire 103, and Stevenson 125; her commitment to fulfill the promise of public education for students statewide through the Vision 20/20 initiative, laser-focused on highly effective educators, 21st-century learning, shared accountability, and equitable and adequate funding; and her participation in crafting the Illinois Balanced Accountability Model that was recently signed into law.

My years at the Board table with Mrs. Schmidt have confirmed repeatedly that she is richly deserving of this recognition from her peers. She demonstrates genuine devotion every day to equipping children–all children–to succeed. She challenges District 96 teachers to grow professionally and model innovation and leadership for our students. She is in our schools and classrooms daily, connecting with our faculty, staff, and administrators to understand their challenges and engaging with our students to support their learning most effectively. Julie is a passionate educator and a gifted leader whose energy fills the room and compels everyone to be their best.

Along with all our Board of Education members, I congratulate her and celebrate this well-deserved honor. As the recipient of this distinguished recognition, Mrs. Schmidt will be the Lake County nominee for the 2016 Illinois State Superintendent of the Year Award. The Illinois Association of School Administrators (IASA) will name the Illinois State Superintendent of the Year at their annual fall conference.

Along with each one of our Board of Education members, as your Board president I am excited and thrilled for our hard-working students, staff, faculty, administrators, and parent community, who all have significant roles in our District’s success. It is fitting, indeed, that individual accolades go to great team members: District 96 is truly fortunate that our superintendent is one so talented as Mrs. Julie Schmidt–Lake County’s best and the 2016 Lake County Superintendent of the Year.