Salt Creek School District 48 Superintendent Dr. Jake Chung was named a 2019 Distinguished Alumni at the University of Iowa. Chung, who graduated in 1996, earned the award for meritorious leadership and service to the profession and broader community.
Chung was appointed superintendent in Salt Creek District 48 in July 2019. Before joining Salt Creek, Chung became a principal in the Arlington Heights District 25 and Schaumburg School District 54, then assistant superintendent for personnel and planning for Arlington Heights.
He earned a master's degree and Ed.D. from National Louis University and a second master's from the University of Illinois. Known for his passion to help marginalized students, Chung worked 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. Chung has also worked to create a community garden in Arlington Heights to help bring together residents of different socioeconomic backgrounds, cultivate a sense of community and help low-income students succeed in school and provide food for their families.
According to a release from the University of Iowa, Chung 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.”
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. In 2013, Chung and his wife, Kimberly Dierks Chung established the Jake and Kimberly Chung Scholarship at the UI, which is awarded to College of Education undergraduates. Chung also has served on the former UI Alumni Association's board and is currently chairman of the College of Education's advisory board.
"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," said Daniel Clay, dean of the UI College of Education.
The Distinguished Alumni Award is the highest given by the UI Alumni Association. “During my time at the University of Iowa, I learned about grit, about the excellence in education, making a positive difference in the lives of students and understanding the philosophies behind how students learn,” said Dr. Chung.