Summit Schools thank retiring chief executive director

After serving as chief executive director of Summit School Inc. in Elgin since 1984, Joseph Scime recently announced his retirement in leading the operation of the school's two campuses.

Members of the board of directors were faced with the task of how to say thank you to someone, who has played a leadership role in the field of education for over 50 years, including 45 years in the Fox Valley. Prior to his position at Summit, Scime was employed by Community United District 300 for 30 years, serving eight as superintendent of schools.

Knowing Joe as a modest person, it was decided to give him a surprise retirement party at Montarra Grill in Algonquin. Joe was expecting a quiet evening out with Leo Flanagan, board chairman and their wives when he discovered members of his board and staff waiting there to congratulate him. He looked remarkably fit after undergoing open heart surgery over a month before.

Leo Flanagan remarked, "Joe Scime has been an invaluable day-to-day asset to me since I became a member of the Summit School Board. His ability to clearly explain the school's financial structure and budget the finances have made the board responsibilities much easier to fill. With Joe's patience and guidance, I received knowledge of the school's operations."

Other board members, such as Dave Dattilo, shared some of their memories of Joe; and past board president Chuck Peacock, who was unable to attend sent a letter full of praise for Joe's service to the school and community. John Ostrem presented Joe with a basket of red wine that he had personally selected and also a gift certificate from Cabela's so that Joe could better indulge in his favorite sport, fishing.

I attended the celebration along with other Summit Inc. board members, Jeanette Mihalec, Bob Hansen, Mike Polchopek, Joan Fedota, Bea Wilson and Darlene Ziebell. Also there were Joe's right-hand woman Judy Lovett, and the directors of Summit's two schools, Karen Romano and Johanna White.

In looking back at his service with Summit School, Inc., Scime reflected on Summit's positive accomplishments and significant progress. "We have faced many challenges over the years. Today we are on a clear path of bringing Summit back to its original roots to empower children with special needs," Scime said. "I am proud of Summit School's board of directors and their capacity to carry out the school's mission to provide a caring atmosphere to help children with a wide variety of educational needs."

Summit School serves elementary through high school students who are challenged with identified learning, attention and/or social difficulties, including children diagnosed with Autism Spectral Disorder, at its River Road location. The Summit School Early Learning Center delivers early childhood education through a variety of programs, blending children with and without disabilities from birth to age 5 at the McLean Boulevard location.

United Way fundraiser: Has this summer been lacking a bit of excitement? Are you looking for something out of the ordinary? The Northwest Suburban United Way, of which we in Dundee Township and Gilberts are a part, is having its major flagship event, "A Day at the Races" from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 22 at Arlington Park racecourse to benefit the communities it serves.

Individual tickets are $100 a piece. You will be seated in the International Room with its trackside tables. There will be a gourmet luncheon buffet and an open bar.

You can take part in the silent auction which will include sports memorabilia, fine dining certificates and more. Our own Anvil Club has sent a donation.

In keeping with elegant races such as Royal Ascot in England, there will be a fancy hat contest; but also in keeping with Illinois lack of formality, there will also be a Hawaiian shirt contest. If you've never been to Arlington Park racecourse in Arlington Heights, this is a wonderful opportunity to have an exciting time and help your neighbors as well. The event is co-sponsored by Nicor and Comcast. For information, call Northwest Suburban United Way at (847) 768-1270.

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