For Immediate Release
July 25, 2005
New Illinois Education Excellence Task Force
seeks dialogue with educators, employers and parents
at first public meeting
Meeting set for Tuesday, July 26, in
Springfield, Ill. A new dialogue will open between
Illinois educators, employers, parents and college administrators
when the recently formed Illinois Education Excellence
Task Force (IEETF) holds its first public meeting at 7
p.m. Tuesday, July 26 at the Northern Illinois University
Far too often, our schools and the places where
we earn our livelihoods operate as though they existed
in separate universes, Task Force Chairman Gery
Chico said. We need to bring our school programs
and those who hire our graduates into the same discussion
so we can better prepare our children for real jobs
and at the same time put Illinois in a better position
to retain and attract companies that provide those jobs.
It is in that spirit that the Task Force has reached
out for participation by representatives of the Illinois
business and academic communities as well as state government.
The Task Force was announced by Gov. Rod Blagojevich
on May 16 when it was formed by Illinois State Board of
Education Chairman Jesse Ruiz to seek fresh solutions
for the states public education challenges.
Our goal is to provide a high quality and effective
education for every Illinois student, ISBE Chairman
Ruiz said. I am excited about the diverse insights
and ideas this Task Force will bring us to help us achieve
We know the demands for more money for our schools,
Chico said. The purpose of the Task Forces
initial meetings is to open a dialogue that can lead to
better preparing Illinois school children for college
as well as for productive jobs. That calls for better
planning and meaningful cooperation between educators,
the people who provide those jobs and the people who run
our universities so were all on the same page. It
only works when everyones needs are being met,
The purpose of an educator is to help each child
to achieve his or her enormous potential, Task Force
member Max McGee said. I look forward to participating
in a meaningful and expansive dialogue to explore constructive
ways to meet that challenge.
Members of the Illinois Education Excellence Task Force
- Gery Chico (chairman), Chicago Chico
previously served as President of the Chicago Public
Schools. He is law partner at Chico and Nunes LLP in
Chicago. He completed his undergraduate studies at the
University of Illinois and his Juris doctorate from
- Georgia Costello, Belleville Costello
serves as Assistant Superintendent for the St. Clair
County Regional Office of Education. In addition, she
serves on the Board of Trustees at McKendree College.
She has been recognized for her work to support elementary,
secondary and higher education. She is a graduate of
- Sherry Eagle, Aurora West Eagle retired
as Superintendent of West Aurora School District 129
on June 30 after a noted career in which she successfully
led the district through a time of dramatic growth.
Eagle has received the Quad County Urban League Leadership
Award, the Illinois Education Associations Friend
of Education Award, and the Illinois State Board of
Educations Break the Mold Superintendent
Award. Eagle completed her doctoral studies in Leadership
and Educational Policy at Northern Illinois University.
- Avis Lavelle, Chicago Lavelle served
on the Chicago School Reform Board of Trustees. She
is a communications professional, having served as vice
president of government and public affairs for the University
of Chicago hospitals. Lavelle completed her undergraduate
studies at the University of Illinois and her post-graduate
studies at the Keller School of Management.
- Glenn Max McGee, Wilmette McGee
is currently Superintendent of Wilmette District 39.
He previously served as Illinois State Superintendent
of Schools. He began his education career working in
New York Citys Harlem neighborhood. He is a graduate
of Dartmouth College and completed his doctorate at
the University of Chicago.
- Lou Mervis, Danville Mervis is currently
Chairman of the Illinois Business Roundtable Education
Task Force. He previously served as Chairman of the
State Board of Education and is nationally recognized
and respected as an advocate for education and prominent
- Glenn Poshard, Carbondale Poshard is
a veteran public servant who currently serves on the
Southern Illinois University (SIU) Board of Trustees.
His education career included teaching in high schools
to serving as director of the Southern Illinois Educational
Service Center. He has served in the Illinois Senate
and the United States Congress. He completed his bachelors,
masters and doctoral degrees at SIU.
- Patrick Welch, Peru Welch practices
law in Peru, Illinois. He served many years as a State
Senator with noted work in support of economic development,
agriculture and the environment. He completed his Juris
doctorate at the Illinois Institute of Technology/Kent
College of Law.
|| Illinois Education Excellence Task
||Tuesday, July 26, 2005 - 7 p.m.
||Northern Illinois University, Naperville
1120 East Diehl Rd.,
Naperville, IL 60563
1. Public Participation
The Illinois Education Excellence Task Force invites
public testimony on the education challenges in Illinois
so that we can better prepare our children and all of
Illinois to compete in the global economy.
Illinois State Board of Education
100 North First Street
Springfield, IL 62777