BYRON – The Illinois Association for Gifted Children presented Jackie DeVries with the Bonnie Park Leadership Legacy Award at their annual awards luncheon on Thursday, Feb. 1.
Named in honor of Bonnie Park, long-term Board Chair of IAGC, this award recognizes an individual who works tirelessly as an advocate for gifted students. Nominees are required to demonstrate service excellence, going above and beyond to make a significant impact on the lives of gifted students.
DeVries has dedicated her 30 plus year career to making a difference for gifted students, and this award is a great way to honor her as she retires. Over her 30 years teaching in Byron, she has taught academically talented students at Byron Middle School. She has also created, developed, and taught gifted classes at Rockford University for 20 years and taught Gifted Levels I-IV for the Regional Office of Education to help educators become gifted certified for the State of Illinois.
DeVries completed the Gifted Education Seminar and became certified as an instructor, led an Academically Talented Advisory group that included students, parents, teachers, and administrators, and has served as Byron School District’s Academically Talented Coordinator. She started a conference Academic Bowl competition for 7th and 8th graders and coached those students for 20 years, developed and taught a summer enrichment program for Byron School District, and began a MathCounts program for Byron Middle School.
DeVries has spent her entire career advocating for gifted students and her goal has been to make a positive difference and long-lasting significant impact on the lives of gifted students.