U-46 superintendent to receive humanitarian award

Elgin Area School District U-46 Superintendent José Torres will receive the 2014 Dr. Effie H. Jones Humanitarian Award from the AASA, the School Superintendent's Association.

Torres is one of three educators nationwide who will be presented with the award at the 2014 National Conference on Education Feb. 13-15 in Nashville.

The award honors leadership in educational equity and excellence and was named after the late Effie Hall Jones, an educator and AASA associate executive director, and a champion of women and minorities in educational leadership.

“I am extremely humbled and honored to receive an award named after a true hero for equity and social justice,” Torres said in a news release. “I share Dr. Jones' commitment to ensuring that we pursue equity and excellence for all students in our school system. We will continue to work hard to remove educational barriers and offer opportunity to learn for all students.”

Torres is being recognized for addressing persistent gaps in achievement by establishing an office of Equity and Social Justice, the first of its kind at U-46. Other achievements toward equity include Torres' creation of the Ten Boys mentorship initiative and the Superintendent Scholarship Program, in which Torres donated his own funds to provide financial assistance for students who are the first in their families to attend college.

According to AASA, Jones dedicated her career to closing the academic, health and social gap for children, as well as increasing the number of women and minority school system leaders. She was profiled in the film, “Women at the Top,” for her work with women who aspired to become superintendents.

The other 2014 humanitarian award recipients are: Margaret Grogan, a professor of education in the School of Educational Studies at Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, Calif.; and Caroline Hunter, a former chemist and retired school administrator in Cambridge, Mass.

Editor's note: An item published online about Judson University in Elgin has been removed. Judson College in Alabama received a nursing grant, not Judson University.

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