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Carl Teichman, director of government and community relations at Illinois Wesleyan University, gets a hug from his wife, Laurel, after he was named Normal's Citizen of the Year on Thursday evening at Heartland Community College's Astroth Community Education Center in Normal.

DAVID PROEBER, THE PANTAGRAPH

NORMAL — Normal's newest Citizen of the Year is proud to represent both Twin Cities.

"I have a degree from (Illinois) Wesleyan, and I have a degree from (Illinois State). I have my foot in both camps, in terms of higher ed," said Carl Teichman. "It's been a great experience."

Teichman, an Antioch native, came to Bloomington to attend IWU in 1975 and still works there as director of government and community relations. He also has served as president of the McLean County Regional Planning Commission and the McLean County Chamber of Commerce board and as a member of the Ecology Action Center board.

"I like to say I never left," he said. "I like the community. I like the size of the community. I like the way we've grown and changed over time.

"If you really want the big-city experience, all I have to do is go two hours to my north or two hours to my south. ... It's a great place to be."

Mayor Chris Koos chose Teichman from among a group of finalists for his "modest approach, calm demeanor and highest ideals," which "demonstrate his exceptional character and leadership," he said.

"Carl is one of the most humble, respected, caring and engaged individuals in Normal," Koos said in a news release. "His leadership impact is demonstrated by his willingness to accept any call to action, every request for assistance, and each opportunity to serve."

Teichman demonstrated that humility after winning the award.

"I appreciate the recognition, but there are lots of other people who I think are doing good things as well who could have gotten this award as well,” he said. 

"We're in a tough spot, being in Illinois, and we've got to take control of where our destiny is. ... I'm glad to be part of all of that. We've got great leaders in Bloomington and Normal who are going to move that forward."

Koos presented the award during Thursday's annual Town of Normal Appreciation Reception. This year's reception was at the Astroth Community Education Center at Heartland Community College.

Other recent Citizen of the Year honorees include Mandava Rao, 2016; Quincy Cummings, 2015; Dan and Kathy Steadman, 2014; Al and Linda Bowman, 2013; Myra Gordon, 2012; Wendell Hess, 2011; and David Wiant, 2010. This year's was the 60th annual award.

Follow Derek Beigh on Twitter: @pg_beigh

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Reporter for The Pantagraph.

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