IPSN PTA Executive Committee Bios
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Teresa Crafton, President
I have a wonderful, amazing, funny, little big boy named Marcus. He has non-verbal autism. He likes to dance (in the mirror), watch dvds, run, slide and take selfies. I am also a full time working mom for a non-profit organization for 13 years. My husband and I have been part of district 204 since my son was in 3 years old at Prairie Children’s Preschool. We are currently enrolled at Patterson Elementary where he will transition to 3rd grade in a self-contained classroom setting.
District 204 is GREAT! I am very honored and excited to serve as the President of the Indian Prairie Special Needs PTA for 2016-2017. I have been a member of the IPSN PTA but wanted to take a bigger role in contributing to this amazing district with such great families! My hope is to bring a positive, creative, understanding and welcoming environment to include ALL IPSN families at our meetings and events in order to celebrate and include everyone. As I’ve learned from being a parent for a child with special needs, it doesn’t only affect us as a family but everyone around us as a community. It will be my pleasure to serve on the board and invite everyone to be a part of this great organization.
Julie Parker, 1st Vice President
I have two children who have special needs. One was diagnosed with high functioning autism and the other was diagnosed with PDD-NOS (pervasive developmental delay not otherwise specified). Having gone through all the therapies (OT, PT, speech, social development, ABA, vision, psychological…) with my first one really helped prepare me to better address the issues faced by my second child. Through my experiences helping my own children, I can help others navigate the waters of the Special Needs Ocean.
During the 2016-17 school year, my oldest will be a senior at Waubonsie and my youngest, who graduated out of his IEP during the spring of 2016, will be in the sixth grade. As they age, their issues morph from year to year. I hope in my position as First Vice President of the IPSNPTA to be able to support the organization so we don’t lose it as a resource for families dealing with special needs. Having the challenges we face on a regular basis with our children can leave us, as parents, feeling very isolated. I am also a single mom, so that isolation is even more keenly felt in my situation. For the well being of the caretakers, it is imperative that we have peer support and resources when we need them.
In addition to serving on the SNPTA, I was a past President of the PTA for Fry Elementary. I also facilitate the Naperville Parents of Children with Asperger’s Support Group. I also participate in the District 204 2E (twice exceptional) support group, the Meetup Autism is Medical group, and the TACA Meetup group. Workwise, I am a Collaborative Divorce attorney. I help people navigate their divorce outside of the court system, in a kinder, gentler, team approach that emphasizes the best interests of the family.
Beth Jurkowski, 2nd Vice President
I am a nurse and a mother to 3 young children; Lilly is 6, Barrett is 4, and Maddie is 2. My oldest child, a first grader at Spring Brook Elementary, was diagnosed with high functioning autism this past March. She is in a regular classroom; however, she does have an IEP and receives services at school. She also has in home ABA therapy. Lilly loves math and art, but if asked, her favorite part of school is lunch/recess! My middle child receives speech therapy outside of the district; however, he will likely receive speech at Spring Brook when he attends next year. He is practically counting down the days until kindergarten!
Our family moved to Naperville 2 years ago for the wonderful schools, not knowing at that point that our children would be needing services. We have been so pleased with everything the school is doing for Lilly. This last year has been quite the roller coaster, but the teachers, support staff, and administration have been amazing.
I have been a member of Spring Brook's PTA for the past two years. I have served as a room parent, volunteered at events, and have also been a committee chair. This is my first year as a member of the IPSN PTA and my first time as a board member. I am very excited to be part of such a wonderful organization that advocates for our children.
Beth Farland, Treasurer
I am a Stay at Home Mom with a daughter, Kaitlin, who is moving on to 4th grade at Spring Brook Elementary School in Naperville. My daughter and I both have Myotonic Muscular Dystrophy which means low muscle tone. Kaitlin and I were both diagnosed in 2006 when she was born. Kaitlin and I along with my husband moved here in 2011 from Buffalo, NY. We are originally from Tampa, FL.
I have been a member of the IPSN PTA since 2012 and have been Special Needs Liaison for Spring Brook Elementary since Kaitlin started Kindergarten and will continue in this role. I was the IPSN PTA Treasurer for 2015/2016 and will be continuing in this role for 2016/2017 and look forward to a great year!
Trudy Sanchez, Corresponding Secretary
My family and I have lived in district 204 since 2002. My oldest, Cody, is 25 years old and is currently studying computer science at Waubonsee Community College. I also have a bubbly, outgoing, happy and active seven year old daughter, Carly, who has non-verbal autism. Carly attended Prairie Children’s preschool starting at age three, went on to kindergarten at Owen Elementary and is currently attending Paterson Elementary where she will be entering 2nd grade. Carly has always been in a self-contained classroom setting with some inclusion opportunities such as, art, recess, lunch, PE and music. Her favorite school time activity is yoga.
I first got involved with the IPSN PTA when Carly was in preschool and I found myself feeling lost and needing support from other families who might be experiencing similar challenges. I was nominated for an accepted the role of Corresponding Secretary in 2014 when Carly entered kindergarten and moved on as Co-President for the 2015-2016 school year. I recently took a job requiring more of my time so I will be stepping down as Co-President and am returning for the 2016-2017 school year as Corresponding Secretary. I look forward to advocating with you and for you.
Melissa Cleary, SNL Chair
I have been fortunate to live in District 204 since 2000. My three children have attended the Prairie Children Preschool, Graham Elementary School, Crone Middle School and now Neuqua Valley High School. When my oldest son Austin was born with Down syndrome my husband and I decided District 204 was the best school district for us.
Austin has enjoyed many wonderful opportunities District 204 schools have offered him academically, socially and athletically. I am extremely passionate about Special Education in our schools. A favorite quote by John F. Kennedy demonstrates my conviction, “Not every child has an equal talent or an equal ability or equal motivation, but they should have the equal right to develop their talent and their ability and their motivation, to make something of themselves.” I hope with the Indian Prairie Special Needs PTA to continue to support our schools and families throughout their child's academic career.