ROSEMONT – A central Illinois school superintendent who was the only school administrator in Illinois to sign on to support unions in the Janus v. AFSCME case now pending before the U.S. Supreme Court has been awarded the IEA Friend of Education Award by the education employee organization.

Kyle Freeman, Ph.D., of Washington Community High School in Washington was recognized with the honor on Saturday at the annual Representative Assembly of the IEA. Some 1,200 delegates, guests and state dignitaries attended the event at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare in Rosemont, Ill.

“I can’t think of anyone better to honor with the Friend of Education Award this year than Dr. Freeman,” said IEA President, Kathi Griffin. The court case is an attempt to end the ability for public employee unions to collect fees from non-members for having to provide them union services.

“We asked superintendents across the state of Illinois to sign on in support of the case and he was the only one to do so. It was a real testament to building relationships, building trust and working in collaboration to build healthy environments between employers and employees, which makes for healthy learning environments for students.”


The 135,000 member Illinois Education Association (IEA-NEA) is the state’s largest education employee’s organization. IEA represents preK-12 teachers outside of the city of Chicago and education support staff, higher education faculty, retired education employees and students preparing to become teachers, statewide.