Keshia B. Warner, principal of Oak Park’s Whittier Elementary School, was in good company, Feb. 19, as she received a Leaving Their Stamp on Our World Trail Blazer Award at the office of 1st District Commissioner Richard Boykin.
The other two recipients of the award were Congressman Danny K. Davis and Boykin’s predecessor Earlean Collins, who wasn’t in attendance. The event was held at the Sankofa Cultural Arts & Business Center in the Austin neighborhood.
“All three honorees are 1st District residents,” said Boykin during last night’s ceremony, adding that he heard of Warner’s success at Whittier through his new policy director, Oak Park attorney and Village Trustee Adam Salzman, whose children attend the school. In 2013, Warner received the Principal Achievement Award for her students’ performance on the reading section of the Northwest Evaluation Assessment (NWEA).
“We wanted to pay tribute to her and to tell her to keep on doing what she’s doing,” Boykin said. “There’s no job greater than being a teacher.”
The first-year principal, who was hired by outgoing Superintendent Al Roberts last year, said that she was attracted to Oak Park because of its mission to educate “the whole child” and because of its relative intimacy.
“I enjoy a smaller district and the community feel, which is more difficult to have in a larger city,” said Warner, who served three years as assistant principal and three years as principal at Drake Elementary in Chicago’s Bronzeville community before transitioning to Whittier.