Neighbors in the News: District 62 names new assistant superintendent for Student Services

• Community Consolidated School District 62 named Ramona DeCristofaro, of Lake Zurich, assistant superintendent for Student Services, effective July 1.

DeCristofaro, who joins District 62 with two decades of experience in special education, most recently served as the assistant superintendent of Student Services in Evanston/Skokie School District 65.

“I am honored and excited to join the District 62 team and community. The vision and values of District 62 are very much aligned with my personal values of equity, collaboration and continuous improvement,” said DeCristofaro.

DeCristofaro received a bachelor’s degree from Northern Illinois University and holds master’s degrees in educational leadership and special education advanced practices from Northern Illinois University. She also holds a Ph.D. in curriculum studies from the University of Illinois-Chicago.

Schaumburg-based Lavelle Law has announced the hiring of Mitchell J. Parker as an associate. Courtesy of Jim Mitchell

Mitchell J. Parker has joined Schaumburg-based Lavelle Law as an associate. Parker will handle clients in the Litigation, Business and Securities practice groups at the firm.

Parker received a bachelor's degree in finance from the University of Iowa with a minor in economics. He later graduated from the Chicago-Kent College of Law, cum laude, with a certificate in environmental and energy law.

“We are pleased to welcome a new associate with the type of background Mitchell brings,” said Managing Partner Ted McGinn. “His knowledge will allow us to further expand the services we offer in our litigation and business areas.”

Maine South High School Physics Teacher Jeffrey Downing received the University of Chicago’s Outstanding Educator Award. Courtesy of Maine Township High School District 207

Jeffrey Downing, a physics teacher at Maine South High School, received the University of Chicago’s Outstanding Educator Award.

The award honors teachers who have shaped students’ minds in meaningful ways. Recent Maine South graduate, Ivan Shapkarov (‘23), nominated Downing for the award.

Downing has taught at Maine South for 27 years. In addition to AP Physics 1 and AP Physics C, which he currently teaches, he has also taught Physics 1, Physics 2 and Accelerated Physics.

“Jeff absolutely deserves to be recognized as an outstanding educator,” says Daun Biewenga, Maine South Science department chair. “In addition to having a really special talent for helping students understand some of the most complex ideas taught in our school, he is one of the most well-loved teachers because of the deep caring he shows to each of his students. It is rare to find a time when Jeff does not have several of his students hanging around in his room at all times of the day, sometimes to get help, but sometimes just to be there with him. Jeff always has a ready smile and a humorous anecdote to offer. He makes everyone around him feel like they matter and are worthy of his attention.

Community Consolidated School District 21 named Melissa Scaletta as the new director of early childhood education, effective July 1. Courtesy of Andrew Steckling | CCSD21

Melissa Scaletta, was named director of Early Childhood Education by Community Consolidated School District 21, effective July 1. She succeeds Lynne Duffy, who is set to retire in the spring.

Scaletta previously served as a Student Services' Educational Life Skills Program coordinator for Distrct 21, and prior to that, as an instructional specialist for Special Education and as a special education teacher at Frost Elementary School.

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