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U46’s Torres named humanitarian award winner

U46 Superintendent Jose Torres | Sun-Times Medifile photo

U46 Superintendent Jose Torres | Sun-Times Media file photo

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Updated: February 3, 2014 12:01PM

ELGIN — School District U46 Superintendent José M. Torres has been named a recipient of the 2014 Dr. Effie H. Jones Humanitarian Award by AASA, the School Superintendent’s Association.

Torres is one of three educators from across the nation who will receive the award, and will be honored during 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, according to a release from the district.

“I am extremely humbled and honored to receive an award named after a true hero for equity and social justice,” said Torres. “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.”

AASA is recognizing Torres for addressing persistent gaps in achievement by establishing an Office of Equity and Social Justice, the first of its kind in U46. 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, the release said.

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.

In addition to Torres, 2014 recipients of the Effie H. Jones Humanitarian Award include 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.

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