Obituaries: Kim Knauer, Douglas Hoeft, & Timothy Osmond
For two decades, she was the person who could answer just about any question put to her about this state’s schools. Kim Knauer served as public information officer of the Illinois State Board of Education, which sets policy for elementary and secondary schools. She also served as assistant to the state schools superintendent, director of communications and manager of public affairs and communications.
She died of cancer on January 2 in Springfield. She was 45.
In addition to her duties as spokeswoman, Knauer managed the state’s Teacher of the Year and Those Who Excel programs, as well as the Milken National Educator Award. She worked to give teachers a voice in policy decisions and sought them out as resources for the agency.
Robert Schiller, state superintendent, says, “She was a guiding force in this agency for more than 21 years, and her contributions to it and to Illinois education are countless.”
The Republican state representative from Elgin died December 17. Hoeft, 60, had served in the House since 1993. A former regional superintendent of schools in Kane County, he received a Those Who Excel administrator award from the Illinois State Board of Education in 1985.
The Republican state representative from Antioch died December 17. Osmond, the 53-year-old owner of an insurance service, was elected to the House in 1998. Osmond had been minority spokesman for the House’s special committee on prosecutorial misconduct. His wife JoAnn was selected to take his seat in the House.