Four of Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211's five high schools have named their distinguished alumni for 2013.
The honorees range from a firefighter and a musician to a lawyer and an outdoor product company's president. They were invited to the honors convocations at each of the schools and received a plaque from their alma maters.
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Conant High School does not have a distinguished alumnus program.
The leader of one of the world's largest outdoor product companies was named Fremd High School's 2013 distinguished alumnus.
Todd Spaletto, president of The North Face, graduated from Fremd in 1989. He received a bachelor's degree in kinesiology, sports marketing and management from Indiana University, then worked for the Indiana Pacers. In 1998, he joined VF Corp., which owns The North Face and many other apparel brands. He held multiple senior leadership roles there before taking on his current position in 2011.
Spaletto traveled from his home in Danville, Calif., where he lives with his wife, Pam, and their two children, to meet students in Palatine.
Outside of work, Spaletto oversees programs that promote outdoor activity for students. He also regularly volunteers for environmental causes and enjoys running and the outdoors.
Schaumburg High School honored composer, musician and motivational speaker Christopher Errera.
After graduating in 1991, Errera attended the schools of music at Northern Illinois University and DePaul University.
Errera's love for music started when he began playing piano at age three. He studied under Grammy nominee and Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Ian Winstin. At age 12, he performed at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and in Germany with the Schaumburg Symphony Orchestra.
A documentary about Errera's life called "Composed" was released in 2010, the same year he put out his debut CD. He has performed at the White House and put on shows for kids at Shriners Hospital and for Air Force cadets in Colorado Springs.
In October 2012, Errera worked with state Rep. Michelle Mussman to pass a resolution designating October as Dwarfism Awareness Month.
Environmental lawyer Allison LaPlante is the 2013 recipient of Hoffman Estates High School's distinguished alumna award.
LaPlante works as a staff attorney and professor at Earthrise Law Center at Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Org. She earned her law degree at the school, after receiving a bachelor's degree in biology from Cornell University.
LaPlante's specialties are working on cases regarding air and water quality, pollution and endangered species. She also is a board member for the Northwest Environmental Defense Center and she hosts an annual gift drive at a local women and children's shelter with her husband. She is the mother of two sons.
She told Hoffman Estates students to follow their heart.
"Sometimes the path you take may be a bit winding, and where you end up in your professional and personal life may not be exactly where you thought it would be," she said according to a District 211 news release. "But, if you are following your heart through the journey, playing to your strengths as well as your passion, you will end up in the right place."
Bob Falardeau, Palatine High School's honoree, has served the community where he went to school for more than 30 years.
In 1977, he earned his paramedic license through Northwest Community Hospital and he graduated from the Arlington Heights Fire Academy a year later. He was employed with the Rolling Meadows Fire Department for a brief time before being hired by the Palatine Fire Department in January 1980.
Falardeau served in the fire prevention division and worked as the paramedic coordinator. He also helped with numerous training events and became a mentor to his co-workers.
Public service runs in his family. His grandfather and uncles were members of the Chicago Fire Department, while his father was a naval officer in World War II. His oldest son is also serving in the Navy and his youngest son is a police officer in Algonquin. His daughter is a teacher.