Longtime Rolling Meadows educator recognized with Heart of Gold award

“Passionate” and “compassionate” are two words that leap to mind when anyone thinks of Jim Voyles.

Those qualities, among many others, are why the longtime Rolling Meadows High School educator was honored this month with the 2019 Village of Arlington Heights Heart of Gold award.

Voyles began his career at Rolling Meadows 20 years ago as a physical education teacher and head coach of the girls’ track and field and cross country teams. Today, he serves as the girls’ athletic and activity director as well as a physical education leaders’ teacher.

Throughout his time at Rolling Meadows, Voyles has shown dedication and a tireless spirit. When a student-athlete excelled in track and earned a spot at the state meet, Voyles eagerly reached out to college recruiters. The student eventually attended Brown University, and Voyles helped the student move into college because his family was unable to. When the student graduated from Brown, Voyles was there, proudly applauding in the audience.

When Rolling Meadows graduate Shannon McNamara was tragically murdered by a stalker in college, Voyles agreed to honor her memory. As a promise to the McNamara family, Voyles started an annual 5K Run/Walk to raise money for a memorial scholarship in her honor, which is now in its 18th year.

Today, Voyles teaches the Junior Leaders’ class, where he and his students have organized incredible projects for the school and community, including raising money for St. Baldrick’s and raising funds and packing backpacks with supplies for the Homeless Backpack Project. Voyles often plans and leads pep assemblies at the school, where he continues to rouse students to their feet to show Mustang Pride at every opportunity and highlight their accomplishments.

Voyles was recognized Saturday, February 16. He graduated from Eastern Illinois University with a bachelor’s degree in Science in Physical Education with minors in Political Science and Psychology. He also holds two masters’ degrees.

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