The outgoing Illinois State Superintendent of Education, Dr. Christopher Koch, has been named by the Illinois Education Association (IEA) as its 2015 Friend of Education.

Koch, who served as state superintendent for the last eight years, was recognized for the honor on Friday at the annual Representative Assembly of the IEA. Some 1,200 delegates, guests and state dignitaries attended the event in Rosemont.

“Dr. Koch is one of the most ardent promoters of public education I have ever met,” said IEA President Cinda Klickna. “He is passionate about providing an equitable and quality education to all students in Illinois. He’s honest and inclusive of all stakeholders in decision making. He’s always been committed to making Illinois schools the very best they can be.”

The IEA Friend of Education citation is awarded annually. The IEA is the state’s largest organization of school employees.