Thirteen leaders in high school activity programs across the country have been selected to receive National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Citations.
An award designed to honor individuals who have made contributions to the NFHS, state high school associations, the athletic director and coaching professions, the officiating avocation, and fine arts/performing arts programs, the NFHS Citation is one of the most highly regarded achievements in high school athletics and performing arts.
One of the Citation winners is Janine Stroemer, who retired in 2022 after 19 years as an English teacher and speech/theatre coach at Homewood-Flossmoor High School in Flossmoor, Illinois. Prior to joining Homewood-Flossmoor in 2004, Stroemer was a teacher and speech coach at Rich Central High School in Olympia Fields, Illinois.
After graduating from Northern Illinois University and earning her master’s from Illinois State University, Stroemer served 10 years at Rich Central, where she built the speech program and sent students to the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) state tournament every year.
In her 19 years at Homewood-Flossmoor as speech and theatre coach, Stroemer coached nearly 300 students to the IHSA state finals, culminating in 30 IHSA state finalists and six state champions, including one in Dramatic Duet Acting, one in Humorous Interpretation, two in Performance in the Round, and two in Group Interpretation. In competitive drama, Stroemer has led H-F teams to the final round 13 times.
Among her other accomplishments at Homewood-Flossmoor, hosted the Southwest Suburban Conference championship 13 straight years and earned Three-Diamond status with the National Speech and Debate Association. Twice, she was nominated for the Golden Apple in Teaching Award.
In 2020, Stroemer was a strong advocate for legislation which amended the Courses of Study Article of the Illinois School Code and added forensic speech (speech and debate) to the music, art, foreign language or vocational education elective that a pupil may choose to satisfy the one-year prerequisite that each pupil entering the ninth grade is required to successfully complete to receive a high school diploma.
Stroemer was involved in the Illinois Communication and Theatre Association throughout her career, serving as a conference presenter, second vice-president, vice-president and as president during the 2021-22 school year.