Sunday, March 4, 2018

IASB names new executive director

Dr. Thomas Bertrand
The Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB), a primary provider of professional development for school board members and a leading advocate for local control of public schools, will have a new executive director later this year.

Thomas E. Bertrand of Rochester was chosen by the Association board of directors at its quarterly meeting March 3. Bertrand, 54, will assume the position July 1, replacing Roger Eddy, who will retire after six years leading the Association.

“Dr. Bertrand emerged from a pool of highly qualified candidates. We are excited to have him as our next executive director,” said IASB President Joanne Osmond. “Our Association officers and staff will have adequate time to prepare for the transition over the course of several months.”

Bertrand is currently Superintendent of Rochester CUSD 3A and will retire at the end of the 2017-18 school year. He has been an educator for 33 years, serving as a teacher, coach, principal, and assistant principal before becoming superintendent at Rochester in 2002.

He serves as president of the Illinois Association of School Administrators and was named its Superintendent of the Year in 2015. He is an adjunct professor at Eastern Illinois University and Illinois State University.

“I’m thrilled at the opportunity to support an outstanding organization and to continue to work on behalf of the 2.3 million public school children in Illinois,” Bertrand said.

Bertrand is a native of Quincy. He graduated from Quincy College in 1985 and earned a Master’s degree at Western Illinois University and Ph.D. at Illinois State University.

He is married to Michelle and is the father of three children, Nathan, Erica, and Connor.

As executive director, Bertrand will lead a staff of 67 full- and part-time staff members in the Association’s Springfield and Lombard offices. He will be responsible for all Association operations and represent its positions in state and national public school policy management on behalf of 846 member districts and nearly 6,000 elected Illinois school board members.

On July 1, Bertrand will assume leadership, as the seventh full-time executive director since 1943, of an organization in a sound financial position while providing exceptional services for local school boards, according to Osmond.

Osmond added, “During his six years leading IASB, Roger has been committed to transparency and excellence in improving the Association’s operations and services. His dedication representing the Association’s positions in state and national public school policy is remarkable; as well as his work with many stakeholders including local school boards, the Illinois Statewide School Management Alliance, the state board of education, other state agencies, and elected representatives. He is a champion for public education.”

Eddy, who plans to spend time with family and enjoy his grandchildren, said IASB has been the highlight of his nearly 40-year career in public education.

“Dr. Bertrand’s experience, background, and commitment to public education will allow him to hit the ground running,” he said. “Along with his proven leadership abilities, he has an excellent staff that will assist him in fulfilling the critical mission of IASB.”

IASB, which was founded in 1913, is a voluntary organization of local boards of education dedicated to strengthening the public schools through local citizen control. More than 98 percent of the school boards in Illinois hold active membership and support the Association through annual dues.

The vision of the Illinois Association of School Boards is excellence in local school governance supporting quality public education.