Libertyville School District 70 Director of Human Resources Peter Theis is the recipient of the 2023 Illinois Personnel Administrator of the Year award as announced by the Illinois Association of School Personnel Administrators. Mr. Theis was presented with the award, accompanied by District 70 Superintendent Rebecca Jenkins, earlier this year at the IASPA awards ceremony.
The award is given to the person who has distinguished him/herself in personnel administration, is a contributing member in personnel programs, has had a significant impact on public education, is a skilled manager of change, and is creative in his/her approach to personnel administration, approaches personnel administrative work with a sense of humor and a sense of respect for his/her fellow man, and is currently serving in a personnel administrative position.
Libertyville School District 70 Supt. Rebecca A. Jenkins noted that Theis, who has worked for her since July 1, “is one of the most dedicated personnel educators I have had the honor of working with him in two different school districts. He puts students and staff first in every decision he makes. He ensures the organization cares for its most precious asset - its people and he positively impacts any organization he is a part of.”
Former boss and current Supt. Dr. Hank Thiele in Community High School District 99 noted Theis, who retired from District 99, lead well in times of crisis and was supportive of the administrative team, as well as serving “students first and led in the areas of equity, student success, and student advocacy. He was valued by teachers and leaders for his availability, honest feedback, and caring approach. This was especially true for our diverse staff, who found Pete to be their supporter and confidant when being recruited, during onboarding, and while working in the District.”
Having worked with Theis in Lake Forest Districts 67 and 115 (where school administrators work for both the elementary and high schools districts), and then moving to District 70 shortly after Theis began there, generalists Fern Carnick and Dayna Pratt also sang his praises, calling him an “exemplary employee, manager and leader. … who works harder than most people.”
They state, “Pete is also an extremely supportive manager to his direct reports. He has progressive views around workplace flexibility, job sharing, and work-life balance. He knows the way to attract the best talent is to think outside of the box. He inspires his employees to work hard on his behalf because he supports and respects them. He is compassionate and understanding to his staff and colleagues. He instills trust when talking to him.”
Theis, who joined District 70 this year, was director of human resources for Lake Forest School Districts 67 and 115, for two years. Before he retired, he was an assistant superintendent for human resources for Downers Grove District 99. Theis also has served as the Associate Principal for Curriculum and Instruction in District 99, was Dean of Students for Glenbard East High School, and worked as a middle school principal, high school dean of students, and social studies teacher in Plano Community School District 88.