For his consistent, strong and unconditional support for music and music education, District 214 School Board member Bill Dussling is being honored with the Legislative Award from the Illinois Music Education Association (ILMEA).
The award, which is presented to state or federal legislators or members of local, state or federal government deserving of special recognition for outstanding service to music and music education, honors Dussling’s commitment to the arts in District 214. Dussling has served on the District 214 Board for 17 years, which includes two years as Vice President and multiple terms as President.
While he is a regular presence at music events, Wheeling High School orchestra director Sarah Struebing said that many of Dussling’s most important contributions to the District’s music programs aren’t public.
“Bill is the extremely important and often unnoticed member of our music team,” Struebing said. “He extends a tremendous amount of effort to be a constant advocate for our music programs. In the summertime he is often found at Marching Band camps, observing the process and applauding students and staff for their hard work. He attends every fine arts performance possible, even if that means spending his entire Saturday traveling between schools to observe different musicals, concerts, or solo competitions.”
The Legislative Award is the next in a long line of commendations garnered by Dussling, who was given the Illinois State Board of Education’s Award of Excellence and the District 214 Friend of the Arts Award in 2012 and is an 11-year recipient of the Illinois Association of School Boards’ Master Board Member Award. Additionally, he was honored 2013 Illinois Directors of Student Activities Principals’ Recognition Award, the National School Boards Association’s Distinguished Service Award in 2010, the National Journalism Education Association’s Friend of Scholastic Journalism award in 2012 and the District 214 Board of Education “Those Who Excel” Award in 2011.
“The duty of a school board member goes far beyond shaking hands at events, and involves difficult decisions regarding distribution of resources,” said Struebing. “Bill’s work on our school board has made sure that our music programs are considered a necessity rather than a luxury.”
The ILMEA Board of Directors will present Dussling with the award on Thursday, Jan. 28, during the 2016 Illinois Music Education Conference held in Peoria, Ill.
"District 214 is committed to providing students with outstanding music and fine arts programs," said Dussling. "I consider it an honor to be associated with these programs because they are such an important part of our commitment to have students reach their full potential."