Springfield, IL – The Illinois Department on Aging (IDoA) is proud to announce Gillespie resident Patricia Long as its 2020 Senior Hall of Fame inductee for her outstanding achievements in education. IDoA Director Paula Basta took time to recognize her at a recent one-day virtual symposium focused on COVID-19, its impact on older adults, and the Aging Network – attended by over 600 individuals.
Specifically, Patricia Long, 80, of Gillespie, is the 2020 inductee for the Education Category. Former high school English teacher at Staunton Community Unit School District #6, Patricia spent over 52 years of her career motivating young adults in academic excellence. Patricia exemplified a love for learning in the classroom that was inspirational and instrumental in preparing all her students to achieve their goals and dreams upon graduation from high school. She had an incredible ability to draw out the best of every student that came her way, and instilled a drive and passion in her students, by ensuring her lessons were enjoyable and energizing. Beyond her passion for teaching, Patricia has a love for animals and has volunteered countless hours working at the local Benld Adopt-a-Pet no-kill animal shelter.
The Senior Illinoisans Hall of Fame was created by the Illinois General Assembly in 1994 to honor Illinois residents ages 65 and older for their personal achievements in four separate categories. Since then, 125 people have been inducted into the Hall of Fame including the 2020 inductees. Long is one of four inductees for 2020. She represents the Education category. The other three are: Community Service, Graphics and Performing Arts, and Labor Force.
“It is a true honor to recognize Patricia for her service to the community,” said Paula Basta, Director of IDoA. “She is a dedicated individual whose contributions reflect the agency’s principles of respecting yesterday, supporting today, and hoping for tomorrow. We thank her for her commitment and generosity.”
Current and previous award winners can be viewed on our website. Created in 1973, IDoA strives for efficient and effective access to services that prevent premature nursing facility placement and maximizes the state’s 2.7 million older adults’ ability to remain as independent as possible within their community. For more information about programs and services to assist older adults in Illinois, their families and caregivers, log on to the department website at: www.illinois.gov/aging or contact the Senior HelpLine at 1-800-252-8966 (hearing impaired call 888-206-1327) or by email email@example.com.