2014 Educational Leadership Department's Scholarship and Award Recipients
John D. and Mary Denise Ranger Scholarship
John D. and Mary Denise Ranger have graciously established a $1,000 scholarship for a graduate student in the Master's degree program in the Department of Educational Leadership.
Ann Marie Tessier
Ann Marie Tessier has taught pre k - college level classes. She is currently teaching k-5 ESL at Buchanan Elementary in Davenport and is the ESL support/coach for the Davenport school district. She also teaches Methods of Teaching ESL for the Elementary Classroom at St. Ambrose University. Ms. Tessier has a M.A. in Second Language Learning from University of Iowa, and is a National Board Certified Teacher. She is currently working on her Educational Leadership degree at Western Illinois University.
Michaela Rychener teaches kindergarten in Galesburg, IL District #205. She has previously taught 1st grade and Pre-K. She graduated with a B.S. in Early Childhood Development in 2010 from Toccoa Falls College in Toccoa, GA. Currently she is seeking a Master's in Educational Leadership which she hopes to use in the near future as a principal of an elementary school. She's happily married to her college sweetheart, Jonathon Rychener.
Norman L. and Eileen A. Krong Award
The Krong award was established in March 1987 by Dr. Norman L. and Eileen Krong to annually honor an outstanding Master’s degree graduate in educational administration.
Ryan Heavner is principal of Greenview Schools. Greenview is a rural K-12 district in Central Illinois 15 miles north of Springfield. Ryan was a 2004 graduate of SIUE and taught 9 years before becoming Principal. Ryan taught history, speech and government and in 2012 was selected by ISBE for recognition of his skills and honored at the Those Who Excel program. Ryan lives on a farm just outside of Greenview with his wife Sarah and their two children. Ryan comes from a family of educators: his grandfather was a Principal and both of his parents are teaching currently in the St Louis area. Ryan graduated from WIU in 2013 with his Masters in Educational Leadership and will continue his studies with the Educational Leadership Department at Western.
Arnold W. Salisbury Educational Leadership Award
The Salisbury award was established in honor of Dr. Arnold W. Salisbury upon his retirement from Western Illinois University in 1980.This award is given annually to a student who has earned the Educational Specialist Degree in Educational Leadership and has displayed exemplary leadership skills in his or her professional Career.
Chad R. Willis is the Superintendent of Schools for Abingdon-Avon CUSD #276, a newly consolidated district established July 1, 2013. Mr. Willis has served 18 years in education as Middle-Senior High School Principal at CUSD #3, Fulton County (Cuba, IL), and as a teacher and coach at R.O.W.V.A. CUSD #208 (Oneida, IL) and Warren CUSD #205 (Warren, IL). Mr. Willis received his Ed.S. in 2013 and his M.S.Ed. in 2007 from Western Illinois University. He holds a B.S. degree in kinesiology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Mr. Willis resides in his district with his wife Jolene, a sustainable development specialist at the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs at WIU, and their two sons Everett and Isaac.
Robert F. Hall Dissertation Award
The Hall award was established in 2008 in honor of Dr. Robert F. Hall upon his retirement from Western Illinois University. This award is given annually to a student who has completed the Doctorate in Education in Educational Leadership and is in recognition of excellence in dissertation research.
Robert Grossi serves as a treasurer and financial advisor to school districts throughout the State of Illinois. Dr. Grossi earned his undergraduate degree in Finance from Indiana University, his MBA from the University of Notre Dame and his doctorate from Western Illinois University. Dr. Grossi has worked closely with the Illinois State Board of Education on various committees and boards and was awarded the distinguished Monarch Award in 2011 from the Illinois Association of School Business Officials, which is the highest honor given by the Association, recognizing excellence in service.