As a superintendent of schools in the suburbs of Chicago, Jake Chung (96BA), has dedicated his career to helping students achieve their dreams. The same can be said for his commitment to students at the University of Iowa. In the two-plus decades since earning his bachelor's degree in elementary education, Chung continues to give back to his alma mater as a mentor, scholarship provider, and leader for the UI College of Education's Advisory Board.
A native of Glenview, Illinois, Chung began his teaching career in Houston before returning to the Chicago area, where he received the state's Sallie Mae First Class Teaching Award. An advocate for marginalized students, Chung became a principal in the Arlington Heights and Schaumburg school districts, then assistant superintendent for personnel and planning for Arlington Heights. This past year, Chung was named superintendent for the Salt Creek School District near Chicago. Chung earned a master's degree and EdD from National Louis University in Wheeling, Illinois, and a second master's from the University of Illinois.
"Jake is the epitome of compassionate leadership and service to others, paying it forward and helping make our world a better one in which to live, learn, work, and serve."
In 2013, Chung and his wife, Kimberly Dierks Chung (98BA), established the Jake and Kimberly Chung Scholarship at the UI, which is awarded to College of Education undergraduates during their semester of student-teaching. Chung also has served on the former UI Alumni Association's board and is currently chairman of the College of Education's advisory board. In Illinois, he works with numerous professional and community organizations, including the Dryden Place Project, an innovative program he helped create to help disadvantaged Arlington Heights students and their families succeed.
Says Daniel Clay, dean of the UI College of Education: "Jake is the epitome of compassionate leadership and service to others, paying it forward and helping make our world a better one in which to live, learn, work, and serve."
Since 1963, the University of Iowa has annually recognized accomplished alumni and friends with Distinguished Alumni Awards. Awards are presented in seven categories: Achievement, Service, Hickerson Recognition, Faculty, Staff, Recent Graduate, and Friend of the University.