DuQuoin School District Superintendent Kelly to retire this year after a distinguished 33-year career
DuQuoin Community Unit School District Superintendent Gary Kelly has enjoyed every aspect of the position he has held for the past 22 years.
“Being able to serve students in grades K through 12 has been very rewarding,” Kelly told Southwest Illinois News. “Our district has a great faculty, staff and administration that are dedicated to serving our students.”
Kelly is currently in his 33rd year as a career educator. He has held numerous roles including teacher, coach, high school principal and assistant superintendent.
Kelly choose to work in the field of education because of the influence he could impart on others, as well as through encouragement he received growing up.
“I wanted to be involved in a profession that made a positive impact on people and hopefully have done that in our school district,” he said. “My mother was my greatest influence who wanted me and my brothers to further our education beyond high school.”
Kelly’s favorite part about working for the DuQuoin Community Unit School District has been the relationships he has formed.
“I have been blessed to work with so many great people including our board, administrators, faculty, staff, parents, community members and, more importantly, our students,” Kelly said.
Kelly will be retiring at the end of the school year after 26 years working for the school district.
“I hope that I did my best to serve our school district and our students,” he said. “I have sought to support our administrators, faculty and staff to the greatest degree possible.”
During Kelly’s time as superintendent, the district has been able to update its facilities with the construction of two new buildings due to tremendous community support, and also increased program and curriculum offerings even when there was limited state funding. Kelly has received many accolades over the years including the 2019 Illinois Superintendent of the Year award from Illinois Association of School Administrators (IASA), the 2018 Outstanding Citizen award through the DuQuoin Chamber of Commerce, and the 2010 Leaders Among Us award from the Southern Business Journal.
Kelly has been heavily involved in the community. He has previously served on the IASA Board of Directors, as president of IASA, as a member of the American Association of School Administrators Executive Committee, as president of the Southern Illinois School Master’s Club and board member of the DuQuoin Youth Club. He has also coached for the youth club basketball league of the DuQuoin Youth Club and coached for DuQuoin Khoury League.
Kelly is a current member and past president of DuQuoin Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, member and past president of the DuQuoin Lion’s Club, member of Christopher Rural Health Corporation Board of Directors, and member of the Ainad Shriners Club.
Kelly has a bachelor of science degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a master’s degree and Ph.D. from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.
Kelly also enjoys spending quality time with his family and being involved with his church.