Thursday, November 9, 2017

Clare Bourne wins 2017 Holly Jack Award

Clare Bourne
Clare Bourne, executive administrative assistant to the superintendent and board secretary of Crystal Lake Elementary District 47, is the recipient of the ninth annual award for school district secretaries.

Bourne was chosen to receive the service award by a selection committee of previous Holly Jack winners, and Illinois Association of School Administrators and Illinois Association of School Business Officials past presidents, and retired administrative professionals. She will be honored Friday, Nov. 17, at the Joint Annual Conference in Chicago as part of the administrative professionals’ program.

Nominations were made by district superintendents and school board presidents. The judges considered the following criteria: performance, initiative, innovation, staff development, self-improvement, passion for public education, and dedication to the district and community. Letters of support were also accepted.

The award was created to honor the memory of Holly Jack, a long-time employee of the Illinois Association of School Boards, who served as an IASB field services administrative assistant and was instrumental in promoting and developing professional development programs for board secretaries. The award not only honors Holly Jack’s contribution and memory, but also recognizes the extraordinary work and dedication provided by secretaries who serve and assist their local boards of education.

Bourne has worked in Crystal Lake ESD 47 since 1998, serving as a classroom aid and substitute coordinator until 2002. In 2002, she was employed by the district as executive administrative assistant and board secretary, a position she has held since. Crystal Lake ESD 47 is an elementary school district serving 7,600 students in 12 schools with a staff of around 1,200.

“For the past 15 years, Clare has unselfishly dedicated her time and talent to efficiently and compassionately assist our district superintendent, and the board of education, in serving our local school community. She allows our school district to operate seamlessly and effortlessly,” according to Rob Fetzner and Betsy Les, district 47 board president and vice president. “Clare builds positive relationships with most everyone she meets in our district. She takes a personal interest in her colleagues and is one of the first to volunteer to provide assistance whenever it is needed,” they wrote.

Kathy Hinz, superintendent of Crystal Lake 47, called Bourne “a knowledgeable, dedicated, passionate face” for families, staff, and the community. Hinz added, “Her attention to detail, consistency in her actions and decisions, and adherence to board policy is an asset to the entire organization. The district is beyond blessed to have someone like Clare Bourne working in the superintendent’s office and supporting our board of education.”

Hinz said Bourne’s passion for the district and its students is evident every day. She often helps to refocus or re-energize fellow staff, Hinz noted, by asking, “What’s best for the students?” as others become frustrated or concerned about a looming decision or challenge. Her passion is also seen in her participation each year in the “Bowl for Kids’ Sake” district team, a fundraiser for the local chapter of Big Brothers/Big Sisters, according to Hinz.