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Hazel Crest School District Superintendent Honored

citizen | 1/31/2012, 11:11 a.m.
HAZEL CREST, Ill. Dr. Sheila Harrison-Williams, superintendent of Hazel Crest Illinois School District 152.5, was...
Dr. Sheila Harrison-Williams, superintendent of Hazel Crest Illinois School District 152.5.

HAZEL CREST, Ill. Dr. Sheila Harrison-Williams, superintendent of Hazel Crest Illinois School District 152.5, was publicly honored Thursday for receiving the 2011 Joseph E. Hill Superintendent of the Year Award from the National Alliance of Black School Educators, and the 2012 Dr. Effie H. Jones Humanitarian Award from the American Association of School Administrators. The open reception was held at the districts administrative offices, 1910 West 170th Street in Hazel Crest, IL.

Illinois State Representatives William Will Davis (30th Legislative District) and Al Riley (38th Legislative District) were among the attendees at the event, which was organized by the School District 152.5 Board of Education. Several administrators from neighboring school districts also were on hand to congratulate the Hazel Crest superintendent.

Harrison-Williams received her NABSE award in November during the organizations conference in New Orleans. The award is presented annually to superintendents who have exemplified the highest excellence in their professions and have achieved measurable improvements in the academic performance of their students. Harrison-Williams will be handed the coveted AASA award next month during a national conference in Houston. She earned the award for her commitment to diversifying the field of education with high quality leaders.

No stranger to accolades, the superintendent has garnered a treasure trove of acknowledgements during her more than 10 years as a district leader, including an award from the Illinois Chapter of the National School Public Relations Association and the 2009 NABSE Phenomenal Woman Award.

Harrison-Williams said she is always overwhelmed when she receives an industry award, but that her primary focus is her students. She approaches her duties as a school superintendent based on the philosophy of Dr. Ron Edmonds, the founder of the Effective Schools Movement, who believed that: We can, whenever and wherever we choose, successfully teach all children whose schooling is of interest to us. Whether we do it must finally depend upon how we feel about the fact that we havent so far.

Her goals are to continuously offer students the best opportunities to succeed in school so that they can assume leadership roles as adults.

Im a strong believer that all children can learn and every child deserves a good teacher, states Harrison-Williams, who refers to her extended staff as her Dream Team.

Harrison-Williams, who was raised in Chicago, is a graduate of Northeastern Universitys bachelors and masters programs in various fields of education. She earned her doctorate in Educational Leadership from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb.

Among her many roles, Harrison-Williams serves on the Executive Committee of the Superintendents Commission for the Study of Demographics and Diversity, and collaborates with school district leaders to provide professional development for teachers and administrators. She also serves as an At-Large Governing Board Member of the Illinois Association of School Administrators, representing minority superintendents in Illinois, and is a life member of NABSE.

Approximately 1,200 students are enrolled in Harrison-Williams' School District 152.5, which comprises five elementary and middle schools serving the communities of Hazel Crest and Markham, Illinois.