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updated: 3/13/2014 5:13 PM

District 56 assistant principal gets statewide honor

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  • Sheryl Gray

    Sheryl Gray


An administrator at Gurnee Elementary District 56 has been recognized for her excellence with a statewide award.

Sheryl Gray, who works at District 56's Prairie Trail Elementary School in Wadsworth, recently was announced as Illinois assistant principal of the year.

Gray said Thursday she doesn't believe she does anything special on the job to merit such high praise.

"My teachers, my students, my parents -- I treat them the way I want to be treated," said Gray, a seven-year District 56 employee.

Gray, who taught for 23 years at Zion Elementary District 6 before joining the Gurnee school system, and three other administrators have been recognized by the Illinois Principals Association and Springfield-based insurer Horace Mann Companies. They were selected from a pool of nominees in 21 regions for the principals of the year honor for 2014-15.

Association officials said the winners, who will be saluted at a conference in October, have demonstrated having a positive effect on students and the community at large. The top principals also met criteria such as a willingness to take professional risks to improve student learning.

Illinois Principals Association Executive Director Jason Leahy said the winners should be commended for the leadership they show in their buildings each day.

"School building leaders have one of the most demanding jobs anywhere," Leahy said.

District 56's Prairie Trail Elementary has more than 500 students in third through fifth grades. Prairie Trail opened in January 2013.

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