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Phyllis Wilken, M.A., A.D. Adm.

Phyllis Anderson Wilken, A.D. Adm., began her 50-year career as an educator in a one-room schoolhouse in Cullom, Illinois, teaching grades 1–8. She became a curriculum coordinator and then an assistant principal before becoming the principal at Garden Hills Elementary School. Her own experiences, first as a teacher, then as a parent, and finally as an administrator, showed her the importance of paying attention to individual students’ needs. She guided Garden Hills on an improvement mission that resulted in the school receiving one of the 212 U.S. Office of Education Blue Ribbon Awards for Excellence. She has served on prestigious boards and committees, including the U.S. Office of Education review panels that selected the National Diffusion Network Model Reading Programs and the Blue Ribbon Elementary and High Schools, including the 2001 Review Panel for Elementary Schools. She has served as the president of the University of Illinois College of Education Alumni Association and presently is serving on the University of Illinois Alumni Association Board of Directors. She also serves on the board of directors of Countryside School, a K–8 school. She received the National Association of Direct Instruction Award for Administrators, and the Outstanding Educator Awards conferred by the YWCA and the Illinois Office of Education. In 1997, she was awarded the National 4-H Club Alumni Award and the Delta Kappa Gamma Literacy Award. Since her retirement in 1987, she has served as an educational consultant for the University of Illinois, College of Education, Center for the Study of Reading.