Former District 211 Administrator William Thiel Receives Eastern Illinois University CEPS Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award

Dr. William B. Thiel

Dr. William B. Thiel

Former District 211 Administrator William Thiel received the Eastern Illinois University Lifetime Achievement Award.

Eastern Illinois University alumni and The College of Education and Professional Studies (CEPS) presented awards for professionals in many careers including education, athletic training, coaching, recreation administration, and health education. Former District 211 administrator William Thiel was awarded the Eastern Illinois University CEPS Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award on March 25.

Established in 2009, the CEPS Alumni Awards program celebrates and honors alumni who have excelled in their field. The recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award have attained distinguished professional success and prominence. These honorees are living role models in their disciplines within the College of Education and Professional Studies and will be inducted into the college’s Hall of Fame.

“During his long tenure as a District 211 administrator, Bill Thiel was a valuable, loyal and professional employee as well as a valued friend to his colleagues,” said Former District 211 Superintendent Dr. Gerald D. Chapman.

Thiel first came to the northwest suburbs in 1969 as associate principal at Palatine High School. He was instrumental in helping design the new high school facility and handled the move to the new and present facility in 1976. Thiel was assigned associate principal at William Fremd High School in 1979 and retired in 1985. Thiel with Dr. Don Grossnickle authored many articles for professional publications including two books: Motivating the Unmotivated and Preventive Discipline.

“I was fortunate to be a rookie biology teacher at Palatine High School under Thiel in 1973,” Grossnickle said. “Bill Thiel inspired me in many ways including his studying at the University of Chicago and receiving his doctorate. Thiel studied with some well-known giants in the field of education including Benjamin Bloom. While at Palatine High School I wrote my first article for publication and Dr. Thiel looked it over before submitting it. Later, Thiel and I wrote several books and articles together. Happily, a long professional friendship has continued. Bill Thiel is still writing and consulting. It was a great honor for me to nominate him for this prestigious award. Bill has inspired me and been a great role model. I am very proud of him as he has made substantial contributions to area schools, teachers and students.”

Thiel’s dream of becoming a teacher began at EIU after serving his county in military service until 1946. Bill Thiel began drawing upon his preparation as an educator performing as a coach during his studies at EIU and was appointed to the US Olympic Power Volleyball Committee for the Tokyo Olympics in 1964. The son of Illinois coal miner born in 1927, Thiel credits his mother for encouraging him to follow in the footsteps of four generations of school teachers.

He has never forgotten his roots that this post-depression young man with great aspirations has intentionally actively sought to bring honor and achievement to Eastern Illinois University in every way imaginable. Among a host of honors and recognized achievements, Dr. Thiel says he is most proud of receiving Eastern Illinois University’s Distinguished Educator Award in 2004.

Dr. Thiel’s professional career as an educator built on his excellent foundation from EIU. He received his M.ED. in 1952 from Chicago’s Loyola University after studying at University of Chicago. He holds a CAS from the University of Chicago and D.ED. From Loyola University of Chicago in School Law and Finance. Thiel has proudly served performing the role of teacher, Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent, Principal, Associate Principal primarily in Elementary and Secondary Schools. He holds three honorary degrees: 1958, 1991, 1995 which each recognize a lifetime of inspiring students, teachers, administrators, school business officials and thousands of readers of his long list of publications. Thiel has served in leadership positions in Phi Delta Kappa and 31 other educational service organizations. His curriculum vita list his over one hundred publications in print including the authoring of the popular National Association of Secondary School Principal Book: Motivation.