Meet The Team
I have spent more than 30 years working with individuals with disabilities in a variety of roles, including 14 years as a teacher in the REACH Program at Minooka High School for the Grundy County Special Education Cooperative and the last 7 years as Executive Director for Special Connections of Grundy County.
I am very excited to begin a new role in the organization as Activities Coordinator where I can focus on planning events and activities for our participants. As a founding member of Special Connections, providing social and leisure opportunities in the community for people with disabilities of all ages has long been a passion of mine, and I am blessed to be a part of an organization that is doing just that!
I have lived in Minooka for 10+ years with my husband Aaron and our two children, Anna and Ben, and enjoy family outings and staying active.
I’ve lived in Elwood, Illinois for 15 years with my fabulous husband, Jeff who loves drag racing and all things involving muscle cars. Jeff and I have an incredibly spoiled dog named Tess who pretty much runs the show. I love baking, reading, and watching a good Hallmark movie to keep my mental health in check. I am an animal lover. I am a total dessert lover……bring on the sugar!
I was fortunate to be raised by my remarkable grandparents in Belvidere, IL. Growing up, I was very close with my cousin who has special needs. I wish I could say her life has been easy and she never had to face the cruelness of the world. In truth, she has probably faced more adversity than one person should ever have to, but she has never let that impact the beautiful person that she is!
To this day her social calendar is continuously overflowing and she volunteers for everything she can because she knows the importance of doing good. She is my inspiration and we would all benefit from some of her life lessons. Being a part of her life and seeing how she navigates her path challenges me to always strive to do better. Seeing the impact that Special Connections has brought to the community and their messages of inclusion for everyone is something very powerful. I’m so happy to be part of the team!
Special Olympics Program Coordinator
I am a mother to my son Dominic and daughter-in-law Bekah, and my son Marcus who is a special needs adult with multiple diagnoses. We have lived in Minooka since 2005. I have 15 years of experience driving a school bus for students of all abilities, and 14 years of management experience in food service retail settings. Besides spending time with my family and helping Marcus to learn and grow to be a valuable member of our community, I enjoy traveling, riding my motorcycle, and spending time with our dogs.
Marcus has benefitted since 2011 from the Special Olympics sports and activities that Special Connections offers. His favorite sport is swimming! I have always enjoyed volunteering for various organizations, so it was natural for me to start helping as an assistant coach and to eventually become the head coach of Track and Field. In 2018 I became the Program Coordinator for Special Connections. My main purpose is to oversee all of the Special Olympics sports that we offer. I love working with and helping to provide social and fitness opportunities for those with special needs, as well as inviting community members to become involved whether by coaching or being a Special Olympics Unified Partner.
I have big dreams and goals in mind as Special Connections continues to grow, and I'm honored to be a part of such exciting times in a wonderful organization!