James “Jim” Duffy, a retired English and history teacher at Sterling High School, has been selected by the Illinois Education Association (IEA) as this year’s recipient of the organization’s Mary Lou and Keith Hauge Retiree of the Year Award.

Duffy was recognized for the award on Thursday in front of some 1,200 association delegates, guests and state dignitaries at the IEA’s annual Representative Assembly in Rosemont.

“Jim Duffy is a friend and colleague who is fully deserving of this honor,” said IEA President Cinda Klickna. “He is one of those wonderful people who each day brings integrity to everything he does. He has devoted his entire career to working tirelessly on behalf of teachers, education support professionals and, most importantly, students.”

In making the selection, the IEA awards committee cited Duffy for his tireless activism in political action and his efforts promote support for public education among political leaders. Duffy has served on many IEA committees and task forces as both an active IEA member and retired member.


Duffy has been a delegate to many annual meetings of the IEA and the National Education Association. He continues to promote quality education through his role as vice president of IEA-Retired and secretary for the Rock River Retired Chapter of the association.


The IEA is the largest organization of school employees in Illinois.