Daniel E. Cates
Superintendent of Schools
Dan Cates was named the seventh superintendent of schools in District 211 in October 2013, effective July 1, 2014. Prior to being named superintendent, he was the District’s Associate Superintendent for Administrative Services, a position he held since 2011. Dan joined District 211 in 1992 as a psychologist at William Fremd High School. In 1998, he moved to the administration center as assistant to the director of special education, and was promoted to director of special education in 2001.
Dr. Cates graduated with his bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame in 1987. He received his doctorate from Indiana University in 1994. In 2008, he was honored with a Those Who Excel Award for his position as director of special education in District 211.
Email: Daniel E. Cates
Associate Superintendent for Student Services
The associate superintendent for student services supports the efforts of the building administrators for student services and facilitates enrollment and evaluation of students through the work of the guidance department. Mark Kovack also oversees health services, student assistance program, homebound instructional program, and the District’s “Response to Intervention” program. He is responsible for data analysis and program development, as well as Title I. Mr. Kovack is responsible for overseeing the District’s technology efforts, both educational and tech services departments.
Mr. Kovack returned to District 211 in 2014 following a five year stay at Community High School District 155 in Crystal Lake, Illinois, where he most recently served as assistant superintendent of educational services. Mr. Kovack’s career in education began in 1994 at Schaumburg High School as a special education teacher. From 2000-2001 he served as the school’s dean of students. In 2003 he transitioned to William Fremd High school to assume the role of technology coordinator. In 2004 he was appointed to be Fremd’s student services director, a role he held for five years. He holds a bachelor degree in law enforcement administration from Western Illinois University, a master of science in special education from Northern Illinois University, and a master of arts in educational leadership from Roosevelt University.
Email: Mark Kovack
Lisa A. Small
Associate Superintendent for Instruction
The associate superintendent for instruction directs District programs that provide student instruction and curriculum services, as well as long-range planning for education programs. Dr. Small also oversees District student activities/athletics and student college and career readiness. She is responsible for staff professional development planning, district and school improvement planning, and the English as a Second Language program.
Dr. Small was previously Principal at Fremd High School. She received her Doctorate of Education in Curriculum and Instruction at Loyola University-Chicago in 2005. She earned a Certificate of Advanced Study in Educational Leadership Administration and Supervision from National-Louis University in 2000, her Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction – Secondary Education from Northern Illinois University in 1997, and her Bachelors of Science-Biology Education from The Ohio State University in 1991.
Email: Lisa Small
Matthew J. Hildebrand
Director of Administrative Services
Director of Administrative Services Matt Hildebrand monitors adherence to legal guidelines in matters of school discipline, attendance, expulsions, and residency requests, as well as serving as the District’s homeless liaison. He is responsible for leading the District’s Instructional Team and overseeing the departments of special education and technology. He also coordinates students placed in alternative school settings and conducts school safety planning.
Before coming to the administration center in 2014, his career started as an art teacher at Schaumburg High School in 2001. He was promoted to 10-month assistant principal at Schaumburg High School in 2006, and became the 12-month lead disciplinarian assistant principal in 2008. From there, Matt became the 12-month assistant principal for buildings and grounds, staff development, and school improvement in July 2010. Matt holds a Masters of Arts in Education from Olivet Nazarenet University, a type 75 educational leadership certification from Illinois State University, and a bachelor of fine arts in studio art, with a minor in art history from Clarke College.
Email: Matthew Hildebrand
Lauren C. Hummel
Chief Operations Officer
Chief Operating Officer Lauren Hummel coordinates the District’s purchasing, transportation, food service, custodial/maintenance, and accounting departments, as well as oversees financial planning and insurance programs. She also monitors state legislation and serves as the District’s FOIA officer.
Mrs. Hummel graduated with a bachelor’s degree in dietetics from Illinois State University in 2003, and her master’s degree in dietetics from Illinois State University in 2005. Mrs. Hummel also received her chief school business official endorsement from Northern Illinois University in 2013.
Prior to her arrival to District 211, Mrs. Hummel began her career as a clinical dietitian in Peoria, IL. She then began her career in District 211 as the Assistant Food Service Director in 2006. In 2008, she was promoted to Director of Food Service. Mrs. Hummel was promoted to Chief Operating Officer in 2014.
Kathe E. Lingl
Assistant to the Superintendent/Assistant for Human Resources
Assistant to the Superintendent/Assistant for Personnel Kathe Lingl performs periodic and systematic review of district policies and procedures and makes recommendations for changes to the Superintendent. She also coordinates the selection, evaluation, and dismissal of clerical, secretarial, and custodial/maintenance employees and participates in salary administration for these employees. Additionally, Mrs. Lingl coordinates regularly scheduled meetings with support service groups in each school.
Mrs. Lingl received her bachelor’s degree in personnel administration from Western Illinois University in 1983 and her MBA in human resources from DePaul University in 1994. She began her District 211 career in the payroll department in 1983, was promoted to personnel assistant in 1985, and was promoted again to assistant to the superintendent in 1998. She is a 1979 graduate of Schaumburg High School.
Email: Kathe Lingl
Thomas D. Petersen
Director of Community Relations
Director of Community Relations Thomas Petersen serves as a liaison between the community and the school district. He is responsible for handling media requests and serves as the district spokesperson. He coordinates production of district and school publications, maintains the district web site, oversees operation of the district mailroom, and coordinates the District 211 Foundation. Mr. Petersen also coordinates the District 211 Combined Charities Campaign and the District 211/American Heart Association Heart Walk.
Mr. Petersen graduated from Northern Illinois University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism/advertising in 1983. He also completed 25 hours toward a master’s degree in communications from Iowa State University. He was an athletic department media relations specialist for eight years at three NCAA Division I institutions, including the University of Colorado (1987-1992), Kansas State University (1986-1987), and Iowa State University (1985-1986). He began his District 211 career in the publications office in 1993, and was named community relations coordinator in 1995. Mr. Petersen is active in the Palatine Chamber of Commerce, serving as board liaison. He is a 1979 graduate of Palatine High School.
Email: Thomas Petersen
Director of Human Resources
Director of Human Resources Eric Wenckowski conducts research pertaining to personnel including salary research, studies of staff characteristics, professional standards, and other pertinent topics, and interprets personnel policies and regulations and recommends formulation and revision of such policies and regulations. He also administers the establishment and maintenance of appropriate personnel records for all employees as well as interviews all final certified candidates for employment. Additionally, Mr. Wenckowski maintains close contact with schools in planning and anticipating personnel needs of the school program.
Mr. Wenckowski received his bachelor’s degree in human resource management from Northern Illinois University. He earned his master’s degree in education from Roosevelt University, and also completed his type 75 administrative certificate from Roosevelt University. Mr. Wenckowski began his District 211 career in 2002 as a business education teacher at Fremd High School. He served as the school’s dean of students in 2005-2006, before being promoted to 10-month assistant principal in 2006. He was named 12-month assistant principal in 2009, serving two years in that capacity, and was named the District’s director of human resources in 2011. Mr. Wenckowski began his teaching career at East and West Lyden High Schools in 1995, and also taught at Oak Park River Forest High School.
Email: Eric Wenckowski
Dianne S. Cieslak
Accounting Supervisor Dianne Cieslak supervises the daily activities of the accounting department, including payroll, accounts payable, district cashier, and student activities. She also manages the District’s daily cash flow through the receipt and investment of real estate taxes and governmental aid receipts, banking wires, and ACH transactions. In addition, Mrs. Cieslak reconciles monthly cash receipts, disbursements, and the general ledger as well as overseeing preparation of TRS reports, payroll taxes, W-2’s, 1099’s, and all year end audit reports.
Mrs. Cieslak graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelors degree in Accounting from Northern Illinois University in 1973 and became a Certified Public Accountant in 1982. Before joining District 211 in 1996 as Accounting Supervisor, she worked as an accounting consultant and auditor, both full-time and as an independent contractor.
Email: Dianne Cieslak
Renee J. Erickson
Director of Special Education
Director of Special Education Renee Erickson coordinates the placement of students with a disability in appropriate educational facilities, develops criteria for special education placement decisions, and oversees placement policies and procedures for the district. She provides leadership in developing and evaluating programs and services for the education of students with a disability, as well as communicates information regarding special education programs and services to District faculty and staff.
Ms. Erickson graduated with a bachelor’s degree in special education from Illinois State University in 2002. She received her master’s degree in teaching and leadership from Saint Xavier University in 2007. Ms. Erickson is currently pursuing her doctorate in teaching and learning, through Illinois State University. Ms. Erickson began her District 211 career as the assistant director of special education in 2009 and was named as the director of special education in 2014. Prior to working in District 211, Ms. Erickson served as the assistant director of special education for Consolidated School District 158 and as a special education teacher in Consolidated School District 158 and Cary Community Consolidated School District 26.
Email: Renee Erickson
Director of Athletics and Activities
Director of Athletics and Activities Augie Fontanetta coordinates the work of the athletic activity directors and monitors budgets for athletics, activities, physical education, driver education, and health. He also serves as the District’s Title IX coordinator and assures compliance.
Mr. Fontanetta received his bachelor’s degree in physical education and health from Northern Illinois University in 1993, and his master’s degree in Educational Administration from Northeastern Illinois University in 1998. He was appointed to his current position at the District office in July, 2013. Prior to that, he was the athletic director at William Fremd High School since 2008. Mr. Fontanetta taught for 13 years at New Trier High School from 1994 to 2007, served as the Kinetic Wellness Department Coordinator, and was the school’s head varsity wrestling coach.
Email: Augie Fontanetta
Raymond J. Gawron
Director of Transportation and Driver Education
Director of Transportation and Driver Education Raymond Gawron selects, evaluates, supervises, and provides for the training and licensing of bus drivers and mechanics for the District. He coordinates the driver education program through the division heads and driver education level leaders in each school. He also establishes efficient bus schedules in order to safely transport all students to and from their assigned schools and insures that all possible precautions are taken for the safety of the bus riders. In addition, he maintains complete records of transportation operation and makes those records available for state and federal agencies.
Mr. Gawron graduated from Illinois State University with a bachelor’s degree physical education/driver education in 1981. He received a master’s degree in instruction/curriculum from National-Louis University in 1997 and a Type 75 Administrative Certificate from National-Louis University in 2001. Mr. Gawron began his education career as a physical education/driver education department chair at Hoffman Estates High School in 1981. He was promoted to director of transportation and driver education at the administration center in 2002. He is a 1977 graduate of Hoffman Estates High School.
Email: Raymond Gawron
Danielle L. Hauser
Director of Instructional Improvement
As Director of Instructional Improvement, Danielle Hauser coordinates the development and implementation of District assessments, analysis of local and state student performance data, and district participation in the Illinois Standards and Assessment Program and Federal NCLB program. She also directs and administers state grant programs related to school improvement, curriculum, ESL, and assessment while supporting faculty efforts to improve classroom instruction and assessment practices. In addition, Mrs. Hauser supports the efforts of building administrators for staff development and school improvement planning.
Mrs. Hauser received her bachelor’s degree in Mathematics Education from Ball State University (Muncie, Ind.), and a master’s degree in Teacher Leadership from Roosevelt University. She earned a second master’s degree in Leadership and Organizational Change from Roosevelt University. Mrs. Hauser was appointed director of instruction improvement in July, 2009. She came to the Administration Center from James B. Conant High School, where she had been a 12-month assistant principal since July, 2008. Prior to that, Mrs. Hauser was a 10-month assistant principal at the school since August, 1999. Prior to her administrative experience, Mrs. Hauser was a mathematics teacher at Conant High School.
Email: Danielle Hauser
Christopher J. Kontney
Director of Facilities & Business Services
Director of Business Services Chris Kontney administers the insurance programs of the district including health, dental, life, annuities, workers’ compensation, liability, fire and property, and promotes risk management and tort liability prevention. He serves as the District’s authorized agent for the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF) and Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS). In addition, he serves as the District’s pre-retirement counselor, oversees capital improvements and the custodial maintenance staff. His responsibilities also include overseeing day-to-day operations of each of the district’s facilities.
Mr. Kontney graduated from University of Wisconsin-Stout with a bachelor’s degree in applied technology in 1986. He received a master’s degree in school administration from Roosevelt University in 1994 and his Chief School Business Official Certification in 2001 from NIU. Mr. Kontney began his education career as an applied technology teacher at Prospect High School in 1986 and moved to Schaumburg High School in 1987. He became an assistant principal at Schaumburg High School in 1994, and was promoted to director of business services at the Administration Center in 2000.
Email: Christopher Kontney
Mary Pat Krones
Assistant Director of Special Education
Mary Pat Krones received her bachelor’s degree in special education from Eastern Illinois University. She also earned a master’s degree in psychology, as well as a specialist in school psychology degree, from Eastern Illinois University. Most recently, Ms. Krones earned a second master’s degree in Educational Administration from Northeastern Illinois University. Ms. Krones was named assistant director of special education in August, 2009. Prior to coming to High School District 211, she was a program supervisor for the North Suburban Special Education District (NSSED) in Highland Park, a position she held since July, 2001. Previously, Ms. Krones served as a school psychologist and intervention specialist for NSSED, and prior to that, she was a school psychologist for Waukegan School District 60 for four years.
Email: Mary Pat Krones
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Stacy L. Lenihan
Assistant Directory of Food Services
Assistant to the Director of Food Service, Stacy Lenihan aids in the establishment of safe and healthful procedures for the District’s food service department. She is responsible for upholding nutrition standards for meals provided to students. She also is responsible for adherence to National School Meal Program regulations, as well as assisting with training, purchasing, record keeping, and selection and evaluation of food service personnel.
Stacy started with the district this past January 2014. She received her bachelor’s in science from Bradley University, (Peoria, IL) in Food, Nutrition, and Dietetics and received my Masters from Benedictine University (in Lisle, IL) in Nutrition and Wellness. She is a Registered Dietitian and has the Illinois Sanitation License.
Email: Stacy Lenihan
Chief Information Officer
The chief information officer directs the District’s technology staff to support and improve student achievement by integrating technology throughout the District. Mr. Luo oversees all aspects related to technical systems, network infrastructure, and computer management. He actively plans and communicates how technology will support the District’s strategic and operational goals, and is responsible for leading the infusion of innovative technologies in all aspects of education. This includes implementation of industry best-practice methodologies, tools, and programs in support of technology. He directs and coordinates use of email, web tools, voicemail, systems, and other forms of communication. Mr. Luo plans for and coordinates ongoing technology-related staff development. He also is responsible for creating a shared vision for the District’s technology program among students, parents, staff, administration, and other stakeholders.
Mr. Luo is a graduate from The University of Chicago, Webster University , and Hunan University , holding degrees of MS in Computer Science, MBA , MA in Finance, and B.S. in Applied Mechanics
Mr. Luo has many years of experience in business and technology with expertise expanding to engineering, finance, manufacturing & distribution, international operations, and IT. Mr. Luo has extensive hands-on experience in IT infrastructure, software programming and architecture, database architecture, design, development and integration. Mr. Luo is an expert in cutting-edge technology with experience in both individual and collaborative work and excellent communication skills. Prior coming to District 211, Mr. Luo has served a wide range of clients from early stage ventures to fortune 100 companies, and has held management roles for clients as CFO/CIO/CTO, VP of technologies, Technology and Solution Architect. Mr. Luo also served as adjunct professor at some local colleges.
On the international front, Mr. Luo has extensive experience in P.R. China, Hong Kong, Middle East, Europe, and Australia .
Email: Sheldon Luo
Mary J. O´Connor
Director of Food Service
Director of Food Service Mary O’Connor aids in the establishment of safe and healthful procedures for the District’s food service department. She is responsible for upholding nutrition standards for meals provided to students. She also is responsible for adherence to National School Meal Program regulations, as well as assisting with training, purchasing, record keeping, and selection and evaluation of food service personnel.
Mrs. O’Connor attended the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and has SNA (School Nutrition Association) certification and an Illinois Sanitation Certificate. She was first employed by High School District 211 in 1981 and was the Food Service Manager at Hoffman Estates High School from 1990 – 2007. She also served as the District 211 Assistant Food Service Director from 2008 to 2014. She is currently a Board member of the Illinois School Nutrition Association. Professional achievements include a Louise Sublette Award, an Illinois State Board of Education for Those Who Excel award, and a Creative Nutrition Award from NET (Nutrition Education & Training Program).
Email: Mary O’Connor
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Barbara J. Peterson
Controller & Treasurer
Bio coming soon…
Email: Barbara Peterson
Assistant Director of Special Education
Assistant Director of Special Education Kara Prusko received her Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education from Illinois State University and has Master’s Degrees in both Curriculum and Instruction from Concordia University and Educational Administration from Northern Illinois University. Kara was named Assistant Director of Special Education in July 2014. Mrs. Prusko came to Township High School District 211 from Schaumburg School District 54, where she was principal of Eisenhower Junior High School since 2011. Previously, Mrs. Prusko served as both a special education teacher and general education teacher for 13 years in Schaumburg School District 54.
Email: Kara Prusko
Anita M. Seaholm
Human Resources Assistant
Personnel Assistant Anita Seaholm coordinates major personnel reports, surveys and information; assists in the preparation and administration of salary development and information, and coordinates unemployment claims and hearings. She also assists staff with leaves of absence, and recommends policies and procedures in compliance with federal laws and regulations. Additionally, Mrs. Seaholm assists staff and administration with various personnel practices including hiring, terminations, disciplinary actions and payroll-related issues.
Mrs. Seaholm graduated with her bachelor’s degree from Roosevelt University, majoring in Human Resource management. She was employed in corporate HR for over eight years prior to beginning her District 211 career as personnel assistant in 2004.
Email: Anita Seaholm
Lynn P. Swanson
Director of Educational Technology
Director of Educational Technology Lynn Swanson manages the local and wide-area network system for instructional and administrative uses, including Internet access. In her role, she also coordinates budget development and purchase of educational technology hardware and software for those applications deemed practical and useful, and identifies the needs of the educational technology program through short and long-range planning and makes recommendations aimed at satisfying these needs. In addition, Mrs. Swanson maintains up-to-date information regarding computer software and media materials designed for instructional purposes.
Mrs. Swanson received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Northeastern Illinois University in 1986 and her master’s degree in technology education from National Louis University in 2001. She was appointed director of educational technology in July 2013. Prior to coming to District 211, she was instructional technology coordinator for Barrington Community Unit School District 220, a position she held from 2010 to 2013. Previously, she was an educational technology specialist at Wheeling Community Consolidated School District 21 and Wilmette School District 39 from 2005 to 2010. Mrs. Swanson also is a national board certified teacher (2009). She also has earned the administration and supervision certification from Johns Hopkins University (2012).
Email: Lynn Swanson
Reece C. Thome
Energy Manager, Reece Thome’s responsibilities focus on the district’s efficient use of electricity, natural gas, and water, with the main goal to conserve use of utilities without compromising the educational environment for students and staff. All phases of building operations are under continuous study and evaluation with a purpose of taking advantage of cost-saving opportunities as they arise. Mr. Thome works closely with building administration, staff, and maintenance departments to maximize efficiency. Continuous monitoring of facilities contributes to the overall savings for energy expenses District 211 experiences.
Mr. Thome graduated from Northern Illinois University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1967. He received a master’s degree in secondary professional education from Northern Illinois University in 1974 and completed requirements for a Type 75 Administrative Certificate the same year. Mr. Thome began his educational career in the Round Lake School District in 1967, teaching junior high school and coaching basketball. He joined the business education staff at Fremd High School in 1973 and became chairman of the business education department at Hoffman Estates High School in 1974. In 1991, he was promoted to the district’s director of career development from which he retired in 2002. He rejoined the district in 2004 as the energy manager. He is a 1962 graduate of Palatine High School.
Email: Reece Thome
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Director of Summer School and Community Outreach Jerry Trevino oversees Summer School, Evening Programs, Continuing Education, and Title 1. Jerry provides community outreach services that help improve quality of life to individuals and groups in the community at large, as well as access to community resources.
Jerry started his District 211 career at Conant High School in 1994 as an assistant principal. He has served as Conant High School’s activities administrator and building and grounds administrator. Previously, he was assistant principal at Marshall Middle School in Texas, as well as a bilingual bicultural elementary school teacher at Stevenson Elementary School and Peck Elementary School in Texas. Jerry has his masters in Administration and Leadership from the University of Houston and a BS in bilingual bicultural education from Western Illinois University. He was the recipient of a 2004 – 2005 Those Who Excel excellence award from the Illinois State Board of Education.
Email: Jerry Treviño
District 211 Academy-North Program Administrator
As program administrator, Francesca Anderson has the primary responsibility for creating the proper environment for instruction and learning within the separate, therapeutic setting of District 211 Academy-North. She is responsible to the director of special education.
Ms. Anderson received her Bachelor of Education degree in Special Education and her Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Benedictine University. She received her educational administration, Type 75, from National Louis University. She began her education career at Maple Park Academy in Franklin Park, and then at North Cook Young Adult Academy for 10 years. The school year of 2011-2012 is her first year at Academy-North.
Email: Francesca Anderson
District 211 Academy-South Program Administrator
As program administrator, Amy Friel has the primary responsibility for creating the proper environment for instruction and learning within the separate, therapeutic setting of District 211 Academy-South. She is responsible to the director of special education.
Email: Amy Friel