Transforming Illinois Education: Kankakee’s Dr. Walters Wins 2024 Illinois Superintendent of the Year Award


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CHICAGO — Dr. Genevra Walters, superintendent of Kankakee SD #111, has been awarded the 2024 Illinois Superintendent of the Year. The prestigious honor was bestowed upon her at the Joint Annual Conference in Chicago, a collaborative event of the Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB), the Illinois Association of School Business Officials (IASBO), and the Illinois Association of School Administrators (IASA).

The accolade recognizes Dr. Walters’ transformative impact in education, focusing on criteria such as academic achievement, future student preparedness, social-emotional support, teaching, and leadership. Her innovative strategies have notably advanced Kankakee SD #111, a district characterized by high poverty and a diverse student body.

Reflecting on her 31-year career, Dr. Walters expressed her dedication to her community and the vital role of education in creating prosperous, opportunity-filled lives. Under her leadership, Kankakee SD #111 has seen groundbreaking initiatives, like the Youth Empowerment Program and Competency-Based Learning, reshaping public education.

Dr. Walters’ approach extends beyond academics, encompassing community outreach, facilities renovations, and a commitment to addressing issues like food insecurity and mental health. Her efforts have led to significant improvements in student graduation rates and academic performance.

The IASA, representing nearly 1,750 school administrators, lauds Dr. Walters as an innovator whose passion and vision have profoundly impacted student success. IASA President Dr. Roger Alvey commended her for challenging the status quo and nurturing the whole child, setting them on a path to adulthood success.


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