Kustra taps first two staffers
Lt. Gov.-elect Bob Kustra announced two key staff appointments on November 27. Jim Bray is the new lieutenant governor's chief of staff and Monica Mueller is his executive assistant in Chicago.
Before going to work for Kustra, Bray spent five years on Gov. James R. Thompson's staff, first as chief speechwriter and assistant press secretary and, since last March, as press secretary. From 1984-85, Bray was Statehouse bureau chief for the St. Louis Globe-Democrat; he served in the same post for Paddock Publications of Arlington Heights from 1980-84.
A resident of Libertyville, Mueller was Kustra's campaign manager. Prior to the 1990 election season, she was a special assistant to the director of the Department of Commerce and Community Affairs (1988-90) and served one year as the agency's assistant legislative liaison.
Illinois' top educators honored
In recent years, the field of education has reverberated with calls for greater recognition and compensation for teachers. Three years ago, Illinois responded by establishing the annual Distinguished Educator Awards. Each year the awards, which are cosponsored by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and the Milken Family Foundation of Sherman Oaks, Calif., honor the state's top dozen teachers and principals for their "extraordinary efforts and personal commitment to the state's public and private schools." Winners each receive $25,000 to spend as they please.
This year's distinguished educators were announced by Illinois school Supt. Robert Leininger on November 14. They include Sheila Bowens of Edwardsville, a first-grade teacher at the city's Hamel School; William Branch of Bellwood, Illinois' 1990 Teacher of the Year and a social science/history teacher at Evanston Township High School; Janice M. Gehrman of Carol Stream, a third-grade teacher at Chicago's William H. Brown School; Dorothy J. Helsel of Chicago Heights, principal of the city's Wilson Elementary School; Richard A. Hunsaker of Belleville, a speech/drama/debate teacher at Belleville West High School; John D. Hurley of Roscoe, associate principal of Harlem High School in Loves Park; Kevin McCann of Chicago, a junior high science and reading teacher at Chicago's LaSalle Language Academy; Yvonne S. Minor of Chicago, principal of the city's Walter H. Dyett School; Judith Pavlak of Elgin, a sixth-grade teacher at Channing Memorial Elementary School; Elgin; Margaret Reynolds of Chicago, second-grade teacher at Morton Grove's Park View School; James H. Roth of McHenry, a third-grade teacher at the city's Riverwood Elementary School; and Shirley A. Splittstoesser of Urbana, a fifth- and sixth-grade teacher at Wiley School in Urbana.
Winners were selected from an initial pool of more than 500 teachers and principals. A internal screening committee at ISBE select 75 individuals who then were evaluated by a 15-member selection committee. Major criteria for the award included the candidate's instructional skills, leadership capabilities, and educational and professional development activities.
Coloradan new executive director of state community college board
Concluding a six-month search, the Illinois Community College Board voted on December 7 to appoint Cary A. Israel as its executive director, effective January 2. Israel replaces David Pierce who left the board last June to accept the post of chancellor of the Virginia Community College System.
Israel came to Illinois from Westminster, Colo., where he had been president of Front Range Community College, that state's largest community college. Prior to that he held several positions with the Des Moines (Iowa) Area Community College, including vice president of economic development and dean of arts and sciences. A lawyer, Israel has also served as a staff attorney with Michigan's Migrant Legal Services.
Miller new chief justice of Illinois Supreme Court
Justice Ben Miller of Springfield is the new chief justice of the Illinois Supreme Court. He was selected in late November by his fellow justices to succeed Thomas J. Moran of Lake Forest. Miller began his three-year term on January 1.
Elected to the state's high court from the 4th Judicial District in 1984, Miller, a Republican, had spent the previous two years on the district's appellate bench. His judicial career started in 1976 when he was appointed a circuit judge in the state's 7th Judicial Circuit. He was elected to the post in 1978. From 1976-82, Miller served as presiding judge of the circuit's
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criminal division; he served as chief judge of the circuit from 1981 until his election to the appellate court.
Miller is currently chairman of the Illinois Courts Commission, which hears complaints brought by the Judicial Inquiry Board against judges. He has been active in a number of bar groups, including the Illinois State Bar Association where he has served both as treasurer and as a member of its Board of Governors. Miller is also an adjunct professor at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield where he developed the school's medical-legal curriculum.
More news from the Judiciary
The Illinois Supreme Court recently announced the following appointments, assignments, resignations and retirements:
Illinois Supreme Court
• Assumed the post of Senior Justice: Pursuant to the court's Rule 31 which governs seniority among the high court's judges, Justice William G. Clark of Chicago, a former chief justice of the high court (1985-87), succeeded Daniel Ward who retired December 3. 1st District Appellate Court
• Assigned to duty: Retired 1st District Appellate Judge Michel A. Coccia of Chicago, effective December 3. Coccia had announced his intention to retire on December 3 but will remain on the appellate bench until June 30 to dispose of cases that were pending before him.
• Named presiding judges for 1991: In the court's 1st Division, Blanche M. Manning; in the 2nd Division, Anthony Scariano; in the 3rd Division, William S. White; in the 4th Division, Mel R. Jiganti; in the 5th Division, Francis S. Lorenz; and in the 6th Division, Thomas R. Rakowski. All reside in Chicago. 2nd District Appellate Court
• Named presiding judge for 1991: Philip G. Reinhard of Rockford. 3rd District Appellate Court
• Named presiding judge for 1991: Allan L. Stouder of Kankakee.
• Assignment terminated: At his request, retired Circuit Judge Albert Scott of Canton, effective November 30, 1990. Scott served as a judicial officer from 1950-52 and continuously since 1966. He has been assigned to the 3rd District bench since 1976. 4th District Appellate Court
• Named presiding judge for 1991: Carl A. Lund of Paris. 5th District Appellate Court
• Named presiding judge for 1991: Philip J. Rarick of Fairview Heights. Cook County Judicial Circuit
• Assigned to duty: Retired Cook County Circuit Judge lan H. Levin of Morton Grove, effective December 3 until June 30, and Sheila
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M. O'Brien of Belleville, an associate judge of the 20th Judicial Circuit until her February 1 resignation. O'Brien's assignment is effective February 1 until further order of the court.
• Selected chief judge by fellow circuit judges: Harry G. Comerford of Chicago, for another three-year term. Comerford was first elected chief judge in 1978.
• Retired: Effective December 3, Robert G. Mackey of Chicago, Angelo D. Mistretta of Burr Ridge, Gerald S. Murphy of Glenview, David J. Shields of Golf, Pasquale A. Sorrentino of Chicago and Lucia T. Thomas of Chicago. 1st Judicial Circuit
• Appointed as an associate judge by circuit judges: Everett D. Kimmel, a private attorney from Murphysboro. 2nd Judicial Circuit
Retired: Effective December 3, Lehman Krause of Mount Vernon. 4th Judicial Circuit
• Retired: Vernon Plummer of Shelbyville, effective December 3. 7th Judicial Circuit
• Selected chief judge by fellow circuit judges: Joseph P. Koval of Carlinville, succeeding C. Joseph Cavanaugh.
• Resigned: Simon L. Friedman of Springfield, effective December 3. A chief judge and a member of the executive committee of the Illinois Judicial Conference, Priedman had been a judge since 1972. 11th Judicial Circuit
• Retired: Keith E. Campbell of Bloomington, effective December 3. 12th Judicial Circuit
• Appointed as associate judge by circuit judges: Stephen D. White, an attorney from Mokena. 14th Judicial Circuit
• Selected chief judge by fellow circuit judges: Jeffrey W. O'Connor of Rock Island, succeeding L.E. Ellison.
• Appointed as associate judge by circuit judges: Kewanee attorney Dana R. McReynolds. 16th Judicial Circuit
• Appointed circuit judge: Associate Judge Pamela K. Jensen of Elgin, effective December 15. She filled the vacancy created by the election of John Nickels to the appellate court.
• Selected chief judge by fellow circuit judges: Michael J. Colwell of Geneva, succeeding Patrick Dixon. 17th Judicial Circuit
• Appointed as associate judge by circuit judges: Steven M. Nash, an attorney from North Rockford. 18th Judicial Circuit
• Appointed circuit judge: Associate Judge Bonnie M. Wheaton of Wheaton, effective December 15. She filled the vacancy created by the election of John Bowman to the appellate court. 19th Judicial Circuit
• Selected chief judge by fellow circuit judges: Charles F. Scott of Waukegan, succeeding Bernard Drew.
Illinois physicist to head National Science Foundation
Walter Massey, vice president of research at Argonne National Laboratory in Lemont before taking the UC post in 1984. A past president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, he
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was the first black person to hold the post. Massey has been active on the boards of a number of Chicago-based corporations, including Amoco and the Tribune Co., and is on the board of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. He is also chairman of Chicago's High Technology Association.
The National Science Foundation distributes federal research funds, particularly in scientific fields outside of medicine.
Chicago Academy of Sciences announces new board president, new science programs
The past five years have been a time of exciting growth at the Chicago Academy of Sciences, according to the museum's public relations coordinator, Carolyn A. Bresler. Attendance at the Lincoln Park museum has quadrupled and funding has nearly tripled. The academy's board credits the determination and advocacy efforts of its immediate past president Laura Fairbank Sudler for most of this phenomenal growth.
Succeeding Sudler last September was Richard A. Redmon of Wonnetka, a partner in the Chicago's law firm of McBride, Baker & Coles. Redmond has been a member of the Illinois Supreme Court's Committee on Professional Responsibility since 1982 and is currently the group's vice chairman. As a special assistant in the Office of the Attorney General, he represents the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency and the Department of Conservation.
Two top priorities for Redmond are the expansion of the academy's outreach programs and promotion of its teacher training programs. Both efforts got a boost in September when the museum received four grants from the Illinois State Board of Education's Scientific Literacy Grant Program.
The four new programs are aimed at increasing the scientific literacy of both students and teachers. According to Paul Heltne, the academy's director, "One of the biggest problems with science education today is that it stresses dry facts rather than experience and discovery. Our programs emphasize learning about science through an exploration of the natural world."
The new programs include the following:
• "Ecological Citizenship" is aimed at students in grades K-8. With the guidance of one of the academy's educators, children explore their own neighborhoods and are encouraged to investigate such issues as solid waste
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management, transportation, water quality, recreation and wildlife. Students then develop various solutions to the problems they find. Teachers are also encouraged to participate in the program and to qualify for conducting it independently.
• "Environmental Issues Forum" and "The Science Teaching Network" are both a series of courses for K-8 teachers taught at the museum. The forum features courses on air and water quality, solid waste and recycling, and habitat preservation. The network presents courses in biology and in the physical, earth and chemical sciences. Both programs have college accreditation and make maximum use of the museum's exhibits and collections and the natural features of the Lincoln Park area.
• The "School Program Improvement Project" solicits input from local teachers in redesigning the academy's educational programs for visiting school children in grades K-12. Bresler says that such cooperation between the academy and teachers ensures that the museum's programs will more adequately address the Chicago area's need for quality science education.
The Chicago Academy of Sciences, the city's oldest science museum, was founded in 1857 by a group of local natural history enthusiasts to promote "scientific literacy for all citizens."
State publication gets Blue Pencil Award
A special issue of DORS Openers, a quarterly publication by the Department of Rehabilitation Services' (DORS) media and public affairs division, won a prestigious Blue Pencil Award from the National Association of Government Communicators in December. The August 1989 issue dealing with sexuality and disability placed third in the association's general audience/two-color category.
The recognition was particularly gratifying, according to public affairs director Melissa Skilbeck, when DORS Openers' small budget is compared to those of the publications winning first and second places (U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Institutes of Health, respectively). Skilbeck, who edits the publication, also points out that it was the only winner from Illinois.
DORS Openers publishes a variety of articles pertaining to people with disabilities and to those professionals who work with the disabled. For more information about the publication, contact Skilbeck at DORS, 623 E. Adams St., Springfield 62701; or telephone (217) 785-3893.
Retired legislator, lottery winner dies
Fifteen years after voting in favor of Illinois' lottery legislation, state Sen. James C. Soper (R-7, Cicero) won the state's fourth largest prize — $39 million — in November 1988. Soper only had two years to enjoy the windfall, however. He died November 16 in Maywood at the age of 83.
Soper was elected to the state Senate in 1966 and served there until retiring in 1980. A former prosecuting attorney for the city of Cicero, he was a charter member and first president of the Young Republican Organization of Cicero Township.
Patricia J. Burtle-McCredie