CCSD21 Board President Phil Pritzker receives state’s top board member honor

November 21, 2021

Topic: Board of Education

CCSD21 School Board President Phil Pritzker was named the 2021 recipient of the Illinois State Board of Education Thomas Lay Burroughs Award on Sunday. The award is presented annually to an outstanding member of a school board in Illinois.

Awardees display “extraordinary leadership on behalf of education at the local level” and exhibit characteristics like “consensus building and teamwork, and individual traits (like) vision, courage, integrity.”

“Phil’s interpersonal skills, his genuine display of caring at the personal level, and his commitment to a safe and supportive learning environment for all members of the CCSD21 learning community is a hallmark of his approach to the discharge of his duties as President of the Board of Education,” said Dr. Michael Connolly, CCSD21 Superintendent. “As President he has set a standard and expectation of an environment where all are valued, encouraged to collaborate, supported, and able to respectfully disagree.”

Pritzker was appointed to the CCSD21 Board of Education in July 1989, and has been reelected eight times, making him the longest-serving board member in district history. He served as CCSD21 president from 1991 to 1993, 2001 to 2003, and 2017 to present. He has been the chair of the Board’s Finance Committee since its inception in 2003. Pritzker has also served as vice president, president, and immediate past president for the Illinois Association of School Boards.

“Phil offers experience and expertise at the Board table and can be counted on to lead and participate in thoughtful and meaningful conversations,” Connolly said. “Phil sets the stage for a highly effective culture of effective Board Governance which has benefited the CCSD21 community for decades.”

The Burroughs award was created in 1991 in memory of late ISBE Chairman Tom Burroughs and is presented each November at a conference hosted jointly by the Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB), the Illinois Association of School Administrators (IASA), and the Illinois Association of School Business Officials (IASBO).

Pritzker is a 1975 graduate of Bradley University in political science and education, is married, and has five children and nine grandchildren.