Highland Community College Trustee Doug Block of Pearl City received the 2023 Ray Harstein Trustee Achievement Award from the Illinois Community College Trustees Association (ICCTA) at a banquet held in June in Bloomington, Ill. The award recognizes exemplary service by a currently serving community college board member. Block has previously served as chair for the Highland Board of Trustees.
Block said he is proud of his work serving on the Highland board for the past 18 years, adding: “Community colleges play an integral role in educating future leaders, whether that is high school
students, traditional students, nontraditional students, or lifelong learners. Making sure students
receive a quality education is one of the many reasons why I ran for the Highland Community
College Board and have served since 2005.”
Block has a long history of commitment to the community. He currently serves on the Midwest Dairy Association – Illinois Division board and the Highland Community College Foundation board. He also has held several key officer positions on both his church and local cemetery boards.
He is a well-respected leader in his industry, having served on several agriculture-related boards, including the Illinois Milk Producers, Illinois Farm Bureau Young Farmers Committee, and the State Representative Ag Advisory Committee. In addition, Block previously was a member of the Pearl City School District board for 12 years, served on the Stephenson County-based economic development board of the Northwest Illinois Development Alliance for four years, and was a Pearl City Hornets 4-H Club Project leader for six years.
Block has been an active leader in Board decisions that support HCC’s mission: “Highland Community College is committed to shaping the future of our communities by providing quality education and learning opportunities through programs and services that encourage the personal and professional growth of the people of northwestern Illinois.”
He has participated on various committees which support these initiatives. A “walking billboard” for two-year postsecondary education, Block often speaks about the important role of community colleges at other meetings and functions he attends. He hosts several high school and Highland classes at his farm, as well as Ag in the Classroom, and Career Day for local eighth graders.
Block was nominated in February for the award by the Highland Board of Trustees. His letter of support was written by Board Chair Jim Endress.
“Doug Block continues to serve the Highland Community College Board of Trustees with distinction,” Endress said. “He shares a deep commitment to providing an exceptional experience to our students while exhibiting a conscientious concern for our stakeholders. Congratulations, Doug, on being named the ICCTA’s recipient of the Ray Hartstein Trustee Achievement Award.”
The Ray Harstein Trustee Achievement Award was established in 1992 by the Illinois Community College Trustees Association. The award is named for Ray Harstein, who was the founding chair of Oakton Community College. ICCTA is an organization that provides legislative advocacy and educational opportunities for community college boards.
PHOTO: Doug Block, center, holds his ICCTA Ray Harstein award as he is flanked by board members Jim Endress, left, and Shawn Boldt at a recent board meeting of the Highland Community College Board of Trustees at Highland in Freeport. (PHOTO PROVIDED)