Nomination of Steve Pilewski for CAMWS Special Service Award 2004

Steve Pilewski is worthy of recognition by CAMWS for his long-standing and dedicated service to the Classics in Illinois.  Although he was once a Latin teacher he has worked for many years in a U.S. government in a position with no connection to teaching the classics. Nevertheless, he remains a willing volunteer who works selflessly in many different capacities on behalf of Latin students and their teachers.  He writes questions for contests, grades contest papers, assists at Illinois Junior Classical League (IJCL) conventions, serves as an officer of the Illinois Classical Conference (ICC) and has been a valued member of many ad hoc committees. 

For countless years he has written questions for the Illinois Latin Tournament (ILT) and then rated the papers that were written.  With his efforts the ILT has been able to continue to maintain the high standards of scholarship to which it aspires. While test writers and graders receive some modest payment for this service, the remuneration is not enough to make it worthwhile for anyone but a professional teacher or a true amateur. Steve is the latter. He offers his services annually to ILT simply because he loves Latin and wants to foster similar love in younger generations.

Another way that Steve contributes to the scholarship of Latin students in Illinois is evidenced by his unpaid work for the IJCL. Steve annually helps for the IJCL-North convention by assisting in formulating the written exams. Then, in his “free” time after a full day of work, he devotes many additional hours to proof reading the exams for the convention and in compiling the answer keys.  His watchful eye and quick wit have helped make this process accurate and enjoyable.                  

Steve also contributes his time and effort as an assistant and scorer throughout the two and a half day convention. (He even uses one of his personal days in order to be able to attend on Friday.) During the Illinois Junior Classical League-North Conventions Steve virtually closets himself in the contest center for two and a half days to tabulate and record the scores of 350 students in over 60 contests. He has done this for many years and his contribution of time and expertise at IJCL has permitted teachers and chaperones to spend time with the students rather than split their time between the students and behind-the-scenes work.

Steve has also served ICC in many different roles. For many years he served on the auditing committee. Then he served as Treasurer. Currently he holds the position of secretary. He has served in all these offices with professionalism and dedication. As secretary he keeps careful records for the organization. Some of his well-written minutes can be read on the ICC website (  In recent years Steve’s careful attention to detail has been a special asset as ICC rewrote its constitution and by-laws (also accessible on the ICC website).

Several ICC Presidents have regarded Steve as a lifesaver on the Advisory Board.  Steve humbly assists in the running of Advisory Council and larger ICC meetings with his keen understanding of parliamentary procedure.  Presidents are relieved to have him at their side and rely on his advice in dealing with any problems that arise in running the organization.

Because his secretary and treasurer reports are so complete, Steve is also a source of ICC precedence and procedure which helps Presidents make decisions which are fair and consistent. Current ICC President, Laurie Jolicoeur, states that, “I forget that Steve is not a Latin teacher.   I can depend on Steve for a prompt response to any inquiry I make. He is remarkable, a font of ICC history.  I am always assured that when I communicate with Steve that his prime concern is what is best for ICC rather than having some hidden power agenda.”

Occasionally, Steve has even given presentations at ICC meetings. In one such paper, "And Scheduled Intermediate Stops: Classical Mythology and the Burlington Railroad" Steve combined his love of the classics with another love, railroading, and illustrated the use of mythological names and references in railroad history. Steve also presented this paper at Monmouth College in Monmouth, Illinois.

The members of the Illinois Classical Conference are fortunate to have such a dedicated person as a member of our organization and are grateful for the many ways Steve assists classics teachers and students in the State of Illinois. We are pleased to nominate Steve Pilewski as a recipient of the 2004 CAMWS Special Service Award. 

Respectfully submitted,

Laurie Jolicoeur, President of the Illinois Classical Conference (

Jane Borelli, Immediate Past President of the Illinois Classical Conference (

Vicki Wine, Vice-President of ICC and CAMWS State Vice-President for Illinois (

Lois Dion, former chair of the Illinois Junior Classical League North (

Thomas J. Sienkewicz, CAMWS Vice-President for the Lake Michigan Region (