Deerfield school board member ID'd as victim of hit-and-run crash in Highland Park

Deerfield Elementary School District 109 school board member Maureen Wener was identified Sunday as the bicyclist killed by a hit-and-run driver Friday in Highland Park.

"Needless to say, this is a devastating loss for our community," District 109 Superintendent Michael V. Simeck wrote in a letter to the school community Sunday. "My thoughts are immediately with her son and husband, and to the many staff who worked so diligently with their son."

Wener, 49, died from injuries suffered Friday after she was struck at about 12:37 p.m. while riding near Deerfield and Piccadilly roads, authorities said.

Highland Park police are investigating the crash, with the assistance of the Lake County Major Crash Assistance Team. Anyone with information is asked to contact police at (847) 432-7730 or email

In his message to the community, Simeck wrote that Wener cared deeply about Deerfield schools and students, noting that last week she took part in eighth grade graduation ceremonies.

"Maureen's ready wit, optimism, and affection for our staff punctuated all of her conversations," he wrote. "We have lost a passionate advocate for our schools, a beloved mother and partner of many of our staff, and a giving community member."

Counseling is available for staff and students, Simeck wrote, by contacting their building principal or Joanna Ford, assistant superintendent for student services, at

According to the Deerfield School District Caucus 109 website, Wener attended District 109 schools. She moved back into the community in 2008 with her husband and son.

"Of all the suburban towns in which to live, my husband and I chose Deerfield in which to raise our family because of its vibrant community, cultural offerings, and world-class schools," she said, according to the website.

Wener received a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Kansas and a master's in political science from Northeastern University. Prior to staying home with her son, she worked in government and for global nonprofits. Her work included serving as chief of staff to an Illinois state senator and a position in external relations for Rotary International.

Before her election to the District 109 school board in 2021, Wener served on the Deerfield Public Library board. She was elected to that panel in 2015 and spent time as its president and secretary.

She is survived by her husband, Paul Rundell, and her son, Keegan Rundell.

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