Dr. Cheryl McCarthy, superintendent of Joliet Township High School District 204, has been named the 2019 Superintendent of Distinction by her colleagues in the Three Rivers Region of the Illinois Association of School Administrators (IASA).

McCarthy was honored at an awards luncheon May 9 in Springfield.  State Superintendent Dr. Carmen Ayala was the featured speaker, where 21 IASA regional Superintendents of Distinction were recognized.

“I am appreciative for the recognition,” said McCarthy, who has been an educator for 33 years at JTHS, including the last nine as superintendent. “I am so fortunate to have a career that is so rewarding, and I am thankful to all those individuals that I work with on a daily basis from our students to the Board of Education and all those in between. We have an outstanding group of superintendents in our region, and it has been my pleasure to serve, learn and lead with them.”

Those nominating McCarthy noted a number of successes during her tenure including:

  • Helped develop the district’s strategic plan in 2001 and continued to follow it and update it. Sticking with the plan has led to numerous successes, including strong finances and Joliet Township High School becoming the school of choice in the community.
  • Named Advanced Placement District of the Year by the College Board in 2017.
  • Implemented a bilingual communication strategy that has engaged the district’s Hispanic population.
  • Expanded technology districtwide, including a 1:1 initiative, full wireless access, a student help desk, blended learning, an online learning environment and a home access center for parents and students to monitor progress, grades and other records online.
  • Created a Freshman Academy and Career Academies for sophomores designed to increase student achievement through job shadowing, online course offerings and an advisory program.
  • Improved community partnerships that provide students with increased opportunities and supports.
  • Developed robust summer programs offered to students at little or no cost.

“Each Superintendent of Distinction was nominated by peers in their regions based on their commitment, dedication and leadership,” said IASA Executive Director Dr. Brent Clark. “These extraordinary individuals truly provide exceptional leadership that elevates the success of students in their districts and are difference makers in their communities.”

The fifth annual luncheon was again sponsored by Horace Mann, one of the nation’s largest insurers focusing on the needs of educators.

“We are proud to recognize these Superintendents of Distinction who are creative, dedicated, inspiring, and consistently create strong learning environments in their districts,” said Marita Zuraitis, Horace Mann President and Chief Executive Officer.

McCarthy and her husband, Kevin, have one child and two grandchildren.

The Three Rivers Region is comprised of Kendall, Will, Grundy and Kankakee counties.