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2     WHEREAS, The State Board of Education presently gives out
3 an annual award, the Illinois Teacher of the Year Award, to
4 deserving educators who have proven themselves to be caring and
5 committed to bettering the lives of others through quality
6 education; and
7     WHEREAS, Willard Carl Widerberg spent more than 30 years of
8 his life in teaching and school administration; he was called
9 to teaching at a very early age and has been credited with
10 building the foundation for numerous co-op, special education,
11 and school administrative programs still in use today; he
12 developed innovative educational and administrative programs
13 working for DeKalb Community Unit School District 428, the
14 United States military, and the National Science Program at
15 Northern Illinois University; and
16     WHEREAS, Mr. Widerberg became an elementary school
17 principal in 1954; during the following years he served as
18 principal in several schools within DeKalb Community Unit
19 School District 428; during the summer months, he worked with
20 the National Science Program at Northern Illinois University,
21 which teaches new and existing elementary and high school
22 teachers nationwide the foundations of various science
23 disciplines; he also taught an Americanization class at De Kalb



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1 High School for more than 10 years, working with immigrants
2 from numerous countries; and
3     WHEREAS, He retired in 1979 after 32 years in teaching and
4 administrative roles within DeKalb area schools; throughout
5 his career, he volunteered with numerous local and State
6 organizations focused on developing and enriching the
7 educational environment, as well as the community's wellbeing;
8 and
9     WHEREAS, Mr. Widerberg received the very first Illinois
10 Teacher of the Year Award in 1954; in addition, that same year
11 he was the first Illinois teacher to be recognized as the
12 National Teacher of the Year; and
13     WHEREAS, Willard Carl Widerberg has proven over the years
14 that his heart is all about education; he has shown his
15 determination to teach, to lead, and to place others on a path
16 that pushes them towards a brighter future; therefore, be it
19 SENATE CONCURRING HEREIN, that we urge the State Board of
20 Education to rename the Illinois Teacher of the Year Award the
21 Willard Carl Widerberg Illinois Teacher of the Year Award in
22 honor of Mr. Widerberg's many achievements and dedication to



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1 education in the State of Illinois; and be it further
2     RESOLVED, That a suitable copy of this resolution be
3 delivered to the State Board of Education.