Student Recognition Breakfast

The Illinois Principals Association – North Cook Region’s Annual Student Recognition Breakfast is one of my very favorite events of the year. Dr. Brown and I had the opportunity to each bring a 5th grade student to be recognized this morning. Students are nominated by the teaching staff for demonstrating responsibility, dedication to school… a positive person to know. As you can imagine, it is a challenge to select only one student each year. We have a building full of students who meet this criteria!

Elk Grove Village H.S. Principal Paul Kelly hosted a great event that included guest speaker, Jimmy Chamberlin. While Mr. Chamberlin is best known for being the drummer of the Smashing Pumpkins, he should be known for his work to support educators in Illinois. Since leaving the band, Mr. Chamberlin has served on school boards, taught music, and launched technology companies. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees for Columbia College-Chicago.

Mr. Chamberlin opened his talk by discussing his 2 biggest influences – his father and his 1st-grade teacher. His father taught him the importance of passion and hard work (he worked on the railroad). His teacher taught him “how to celebrate his uniqueness… and ignited a passion for life long learning”. She also taught him a means to hold himself accountable. Mr. Chamberlin went on to emphasize the importance of engaging children and celebrating their individual differences. After all, “It is the inconsistencies in our personality that define us and bring value to our culture”.

I felt pride in District 30 and our students. I believe we strive to advance our students’ academic, social-emotional, and artistic growth. I also felt pride in the larger education profession. I expected to recognize a deserving student this morning. I did not expect to receive inspiration from the drummer of one of my favorite teenage rock bands.

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