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BY JIM SLUSHER
MANAGING EDITOR/OPINION &ADMIN
For years, the Daily Herald has considered climate change among the most important and most urgent topics of our time. In coming months, we'll take our coverage to a new level and bring the issue home to the suburbs with the help of a reporter joining us in cooperation with the national journalism resource Report For America.
Allow me to introduce Jennifer Whidden.
Jennifer is an experienced, energetic young reporter with roots in Rolling Meadows and a passion for public service reporting in general and environmental issues specifically. A 2020 journalism graduate of Marquette University in Milwaukee, she has worked on investigative projects for the Star Ledger in Newark, New Jersey, interned on the political desk of the Chicago Tribune and, since June 2021, covered politics, with a focus on race and equity issues, at the New Hampshire Statehouse for the Granite State News Cooperative.
She brings to her work a diverse skill set, with particular focus on data science that we expect to help her produce the kinds of data-driven stories on climate and environmental issues in the suburbs that will help you better understand not only what's happening to our planet but also what's happening in our communities and our neighborhoods.
And, she'll be looking for actions our institutions can take, as well as those we as individuals can adopt, to help protect the quality of life we appreciate in the suburbs.
We're excited about the breadth of reporting Jennifer will add to the Daily Herald's coverage and the new insights she'll bring on everything from the health of our prime water source, Lake Michigan, to the quality of our air and the vitality of our gardens. Watch for her reports beginning in June.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Alison Maley
Government & Public Relations Director
Illinois Principals Association recognized by
Great Place to Work® on Certification Nation Day,
a national celebration of outstanding workplaces
SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Principals Association is proud to celebrate Certification Nation Day on May 17, along with the community of Great Place to Work-Certified™ companies across the country. Great Place to Work® has designated May 17, 2022, as Certification Nation Day to salute and recognize the companies working to create great places to work for all.
“The positive culture at IPA allows our team of richly talented individuals to support one another with a shared mission of developing, supporting, and advocating for innovative educational leaders,” shared Dr. Susan Homes, deputy executive director for professional learning. “To achieve this mission, we serve each other first so we can serve our members. I'm proud to be part of an association that is not only forward thinking but is recognized nationally for our innovative solutions and support for school leaders.”
Great Place to Work Certification™ is recognized worldwide by employees and employers alike and is the global benchmark for identifying outstanding employee experiences.
“Certified companies put employees first” says Michael C. Bush, chief executive officer at Great Place to Work. “Thriving employees increase revenue, profit and provide market-leading customer experiences. I hope that Certification Nation Day can inspire other executives to create and sustain employee-first cultures."
“Great Place to Work Certification™ isn’t something that comes easily” says Sarah Lewis-Kulin, vice president of global recognition at Great Place to Work. “It takes ongoing dedication to the employee experience.”
“My favorite thing about working for IPA is the team-oriented culture,” said Arlin Peebles, Ed Leaders Network director and IPA staff member. “Our staff motto is ‘Serving each other, serving educators, serving children’ and it is put in that order for a reason. Whenever we need something from another staff member it is immediately prioritized and taken care of. We have a huge amount of respect for each other, and it is always exciting when we get a chance to collaborate on a project to serve our members.”
“Everyone at IPA works together as a high-functioning team,” said Janice Schwarze, professional learning associate and former principal. “I feel valued as a professional, and I also feel like I am part of a big family who looks out for me personally.”
According to Great Place to Work research, job seekers are 4.5 times more likely to find a great boss at a Certified great workplace. Additionally, employees at Certified workplaces are 93% more likely to look forward to coming to work, and are twice as likely to be paid fairly, earn a fair share of the company’s profits and have a fair chance at promotion.
About Illinois Principals Association
The Illinois Principals Association is a professional association serving more than 6,000 building-level administrators in Illinois. IPA provides professional learning and advocacy opportunities, supporting principals and other school administrators to lead effective learning organizations.
About Great Place to Work Certification™
Great Place to Work® Certification™ is the most definitive “employer-of-choice” recognition that companies aspire to achieve. It is the only recognition based entirely on what employees report about their workplace experience – specifically, how consistently they experience a high-trust workplace. Great Place to Work Certification is recognized worldwide by employees and employers alike and is the global benchmark for identifying and recognizing outstanding employee experience. Every year, more than 10,000 companies across 60 countries apply to get Great Place to Work-Certified.
About Great Place to Work®
Great Place to Work® is the global authority on workplace culture. Since 1992, they have surveyed more than 100 million employees worldwide and used those deep insights to define what makes a great workplace: trust. Their employee survey platform empowers leaders with the feedback, real-time reporting and insights they need to make data-driven people decisions. Everything they do is driven by the mission to build a better world by helping every organization become a great place to work For All™.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Emily Warnecke
Merger creates Illinois' largest school
energy management group
The Illinois Association of School Administrators (IASA), the Illinois Association of School Business Officials (IASBO) and the Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB) have announced a merger to create the Illinois Energy Consortium powered by Future Green — Illinois’ largest energy management group. The initiative will help member school districts reduce their energy spending, protect them from market volatility and invest in renewable energy.
“Price volatility, supply disruptions and the transition to lower carbon generation are just a few of the long-term trends facing the energy markets that we are responding to,” said Dr. Michael Jacoby, executive director/CEO of IASBO. “This initiative will provide school districts with much-needed stability and cost certainty through aggregating their respective energy loads to secure lower prices than they could on their own.”
The new entity is a merger of the Illinois Energy Consortium (IEC) and Future Green Energy Consortium (FGEC). The IEC, created in 1997, is Illinois’ largest electric and natural gas pool. More than 30 percent of all Illinois public school districts and colleges are members. The FGEC was created in 2016 as a way to provide members with renewable electric power solutions at no out-of-pocket cost.
“Illinois member schools have saved tens of millions of dollars in the past by joining forces under the umbrellas of the IEC and FGEC,” said Dr. Brent Clark, executive director of IASA. “By merging the two, districts will be able to invest more dollars into the classroom while also exploring green-energy solutions such as onsite solar generation and electrification of bus fleets.”
After the passage of the Illinois Climate and Equitable Jobs Act in 2021, Illinois school districts are in a unique position to install solar panels on site and reduce their carbon footprint. In addition to saving money, onsite solar provides protection from extreme weather events and can potentially generate revenue for the district in the event it is able to sell excess renewable energy back into the grid.
“In February 2021, there were school districts in Illinois forced to close due to a sudden massive spike in the price of natural gas,” said Dr. Tom Bertrand, executive director of IASB. “That volatility creates stress on the school district, parents and students. Providing more stability with energy costs can allow districts to avoid major disruptions to learning.”
Illinois Energy Consortium powered by Future Green will be actively managed by Econergy LLC, based in Chicago. Econergy has helped more than 2,500 schools and businesses across the country unlock access to renewable energy savings by building energy coalitions.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Alicia Martin
The Associated Builders and Contractors
of Illinois endorse Richard Irvin for Governor
SPRINGFIELD – Crime, corruption, taxes, and burdensome regulation have decimated businesses and communities over the past four years. But unfortunately, there is no indication that this will change unless there is a different direction in leadership. After thoughtful deliberation of all candidates, the Associated Builders and Contractors of Illinois is proud to endorse Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin and State Representative Avery Bourne for Governor and Lieutenant Governor.
Mayor Irvin is not a stranger to challenges. Born to a single mother and raised in the projects in Aurora, Mayor Irvin became the first member of his family to graduate college. Mayor Irvin is a decorated combat veteran, former prosecutor, and the first African American Mayor of Aurora. There is no question about his dedication to service and helping others.
Representative Avery Bourne has served in the General Assembly since 2015 and has a proven track record of supporting ABC Illinois issues. Since taking her oath, she has been a strong advocate for fixing education funding disparities, ethics reform, and economic development across the State. In addition, her deep roots in central and southern Illinois will provide a much-needed voice for rural communities.
“While we admire and respect the other Republican candidates for Governor it is the opinion of our Board of Directors that Mayor Irvin and Representative Bourne best represent our state and will help all of Illinois and our members prosper. “As Mayor, Richard Irvin has demonstrated his ability to work in a bipartisan manner to find solutions for his community and small businesses. Providing an environment for businesses to grow and safety for our families are both important for our members”, says Alicia Martin, President of ABC Illinois.
Mayor Irvin responded to the endorsement “I am honored to have the endorsement of the Associated Builders & Contractors, Illinois Chapter. Growing up in public housing surrounded by gangs and crime, I understand the importance of providing opportunities to individuals with barriers to employment by helping them enter the construction industry and getting them on the right trajectory. ABC's faith in my candidacy due to my proven record on economic
development as Mayor of Aurora confirms their belief that I am the best candidate to turn Illinois around economically and lift up our communities that have been struggling under J.B. Pritzker's administration”.
About ABC: The Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) of Illinois is the affiliate of the national ABC trade association. ABC of Illinois advocates for the merit shop philosophy within the construction industry and represents a diverse group of businesses across Illinois.
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