Kay Green named 2003 Harold Award Winner

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Dr. Kay Green, Superintendent of Kankakee School District 111, is the recipient of this year’s Harold Award from the Pledge for Life Partnership.

The Harold Award -- named after the Life Education Center’s 8 ft. mascot, Harold the Giraffe -- recognizes outstanding examples of dedication and commitment to the area’s youth. Dr. Green was presented the award at the Partnership’s annual meeting held October 23 at the Kankakee Country Club.

As a former student, parent, teacher and administrator, Dr. Green knows the Kankakee school district from every conceivable perspective. From the inside out, she’s seen the district go from tough times, to good, and on to better.

Since becoming the district’s superintendent in 1993, school board members, teachers, parents and professional colleagues have come to admire her hands-on approach, intense work ethic and easy accessibility. “Kay Green is genuine in her care and concern for children – not only in District 111 — but for all children in general,” said Debra Baron, director of the Pledge for Life Partnership. “We are very grateful to her for the support she has given our programs over the years.”

Green has been a staunch supporter of the Life Education Center program since it was introduced 14 years ago. “She immediately recognized the benefits of schools offering a unified curriculum to address substance abuse and destructive behaviors and promoted the benefits of working together to conduct needs assessments and program evaluations. By example, she continually encouraged her staff to work collaboratively with us and championed the increase of per student payments that helps cover a portion of the LEC program.”

Green also has been one of the greatest promoters of Kankakee’s public school system. “I invite parents to come and see for themselves. They are surprised and happy by what they see,” she said.
Green’s involvement with District 111 started at the age of 6, when she was a student enrolled at the old Washington Elementary School. She graduated from Kankakee High School in 1961 and went on to earn a bachelor’s in English from Illinois State University. After graduating, she taught English at Westview High School from 1967-68 before taking some time off to have a family. She also earned a master’s degree in English education from the University of Illinois and a doctorate in educational administration from ISU.

She rejoined District 111 in 1978 as a project coordinator for the Magnet School Program. After helping to develop and implement it within the district, she was named director of public relations and went on to serve as the assistant superintendent for Competitive State and Federal Programs.

In 1993, she was appointed the district superintendent and her current office is located in the room where she once attended one of her high school English classes.

“I’ve been lucky because my office is in a building where I routinely see children. One morning I may be hearing the orchestra practice or students rehearsing for a play,” she said. “There’s something about being around children that keeps you young and alive. They bring such energy into your life.”

Green announced her retirement effective July 2004 after a 34 year career in education.

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