Mary Ellen Buch began work with IASB on Oct. 24. She is replacing Connie Crowder in the governmental relations department. Crowder is retiring at the end of the year after starting with IASB on May 1, 1988. She served as the governmental relations administrative assistant throughout her tenure with the Association.
Buch brings a wealth of school governance experience with her to the position, working seven years for the Illinois Association of School Administrators (IASA) in the legislative and communications departments. Prior to her service with IASA, Buch was the administrative assistant at Athens Junior High School, and an analyst for State Capital Information Service and in the legislative department at Ameren/CIPS. Buch will be working out of the IASB Springfield office.
Crowder has been instrumental in facilitating the IASB Resolutions Committee process, departmental programs and activities of the Governmental Relations Department.
“After 28 years at the Association, Connie will truly be missed”, said Ben Schwarm, Deputy Executive Director. “She is the one who made sure that the legislative team was on track and was instrumental in organizing the IASB Resolutions and Delegate Assembly process.”
Crowder said she would miss IASB, stating: “When you work with co-workers that long they become your family. My years spent working at IASB have been the best of my life. The people at the Association are some of the most caring, kind, and generous people I know.”
Joining the Springfield staff along with Buch is Susan O’Donnell, who began working in the field services department on Sep. 12. She will assist Reatha Owen, field services director for IASB’s Blackhawk, Central Illinois Valley, Corn Belt, and Western divisions. O’Donnell also has experience with Unique Personnel Consultants, SIU School of Medicine, and Pleasant Plains High School.
Joining the field services team in the Association’s Lombard office is Kathryn Larson. She started on Oct. 31 and will assist Perry Hill IV, field services director for the South Cook, West Cook, and Three Rivers divisions. Her previous employment includes 15 years as administrative assistant with the McDonald’s corporate headquarters in Oak Brook.
In addition to the new hires, IASB Governmental Relations Director Susan Hilton transferred from the Springfield office to Lombard in mid-December. Hilton will continue to work closely with Association lobbyists at the state Capitol. The move will expand her federal legislative activities with members of Congress in Chicago and the surrounding suburban areas. Hilton has been at IASB since 2007.