Indian Prairie Special Needs PTA


New and Exciting Things Are Happening in 2014/2015

We are re-organizing our website so we can share more school and community resources and events.

There will be continuous updates on this Website!

The Indian Prairie Special Needs PTA (IPSN PTA) is committed to helping every child with special needs in our community succeed and reach their full potential.


We are a group of parents and caregivers who have or work with children with special needs in Indian Prairie School District 204, which serves children from the communities of Aurora, Bolingbrook, Plainfield, and Naperville. Our members have children varying in age, abilities and educational placements within and outside of the District's schools.


"Special Needs" is a very broad term that covers a staggering array of diagnoses. A child with special needs is any student who needs additional support, accommodations, and/or intervention in order to be successful in their social and learning environment.
Children may have mild learning disabilities or profound cognitive impairment; food allergies or terminal illness; developmental delays; occasional panic attacks or serious psychiatric problems.


We welcome parents, educators, administrators and community members.
Membership and meetings are open to anyone who is interested in our cause.



Is to connect and support parents and care givers of children with special needs from ages 3 to 21. We do this by…

  • Sharing information about resources in our community.
  • Connecting parents, educators and administrators to increase understanding and awareness of special needs issues.
  • Educating parents and others to increase awareness of and gain support for children with special needs in our community.
  • Advocating for the academic and social-emotional education of students with special needs, ensuring every student is able to reach their full potential.
  • Providing resources and education for parents regarding services, policies and procedures for children with special needs.
  • Joining with other advocacy groups to promote system-wide changes that can benefit all students in Indian Prairie and across Illinois.



When you join the IPSN PTA you are joining a community of parents and teachers who work together to enrich the learning environment and provide support to students and their families. Funding goes toward supporting advocacy, information sharing, and Special Education training.


Membership is only $10 per school year.
Sign up today!

  • Get Connected. There’s no better way to know what’s happening in your community, school and school district.
  • Discover Great Resources. PTA provides information about special education, District 204 and a variety of different resources in our community. Resources vary from government, legal, doctors, therapists, sports and recreations. We have speakers on relevant topics, a yearly resource fair, our website and more.
  • Tap into a Network. PTA events are opportunities to meet other parents and teachers, building rapport and discussing issues. You can share ideas, concerns, and experiences. You receive a member directory that allows you to connect with other District 204 parents.
  • Watch Yourself Grow. By volunteering with your PTA, you put your skills and hobbies to use for a noble cause—your child and all children in the community.
  • Speak Up. PTA is an outlet for you to more effectively suggest change at your child’s school, school district and community. By getting involved you’ll be part of the solution.
  • Discounts. As a member, you get discounts and offers from providers and sponsors. []


BOARD 2014-2015

  • President: Penny Boyle
  • 1st Vice President: Julie Parker
  • 2nd Vice President: Kathy Panagopoulos
  • Treasurer: Shobha Kumarapuram
  • Recording Secretary: Nanette Cote
  • Corresponding Secretary: Trudy Sanchez
  • Special Needs Chairperson: Michele Linden
  • Special Resource Fair Chairperson: Amie Crouse

We can be contacted at



The IPSN PTA’s core is our volunteers. The more help we can get the more amazing things we can offer our members.


Please consider signing up! Click the Volunteer tab at the top of this page for more info.








The Indian Prairie Special Needs PTA meets at the Crouse Education Center (CEC) 780 Shoreline Drive, Aurora, IL 60504 in Board Room B6 unless otherwise noted.


UPDATED! Wednesday, January 28, 2015
7 p.m. @ Fox Valley Institute
640 N. River Road, Naperville, 2nd floor conference room
Two presentations, sponsored by Fox Valley Institute, a Naperville-based provider of several therapy services, that bring together the concepts of self-care for the caregiver and dealing with the heaviness of isolation.


Thursday, February 26, 2015

7:00 PM @ TBA

BUNCO Night (Adults Only)


Thursday, March 12, 2015

7:00 PM @ CEC 2nd Floor Board Room B6

General Meeting 7-7:30pm

7:30pm Topic: Legal Information for Special Needs Families


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Time and Place TBA

Earth Day Family Event


Thursday, May 14, 2015

7:00 PM @ CEC 2nd Floor Board Room B6

General Meeting 7-7:30pm

7:30pm Topic: PTA Election/Pub Night


* - Meeting dates, times and locations are subject to change. Members will be notified via email of any changes, and also updated on our website.


Special Needs Liaisons (SNL)


Our Special Need Liaisons are very important to us; they are our connection to our schools. Our wonderful volunteers work hard to promote and get information out to the school staff, teachers and school PTAs.


It is the SN PTA’s wish to have as many of the schools represented as possible. We still have several schools that do not have an SNL (see list below). If you see your school listed as one that does not have an SNL, consider becoming one for your school. If you would like to find out more about the SNL program or sign up to be one at your school; please contact IPSN PTA SNL Chairperson Michele Linden at


SNL Volunteer Description

  • Volunteer time about 1-2 hrs./month.
  • Be a member of the IPSN PTA
  • Distribute and forward information (in list-serve or newsletter format) to home school
  • Work with the School PTA and school to add IPSN info on website and in newsletters.
  • Introduce yourself and the IPSN PTA, in person or e-mail, to Principal, Special Needs team, including social workers and speech/OT staff.


In addition to the above, please consider these suggestions to promote the IPSN PTA:

  • Go to the home school PTA meetings and talk about the upcoming events for the IPSN PTA (2-3min)
  • Work with SN teaching staff to distribute information to SN families; hand out/e-mail (i.e. Parent/Teacher conference etc.)
  • Put up IPSN PTA posters (per school guidelines)
  • Create your own personal touch to create awareness of IPSN PTA


SNL Chair Michele Linden
SNL Newsletter Pattie Bolek
Prairie Children Preschool IPSN PTA BOARD (TEMP)
Brookdale Elementary School IPSN PTA BOARD (TEMP)
Brooks Elementary School IPSN PTA BOARD (TEMP)
Builta Elementary School Tamera Anderson
Clow Elementary School IPSN PTA BOARD (TEMP)
Cowlishaw Elementary School Deb Loehrke
Fry Elementary School Julie Parker
Georgetown Elementary School Kris Harvey
Gombert Elementary School IPSN PTA BOARD (TEMP)
Graham Elementary School Koel Dalta
Kendall Elementary School Jen May (TEMP)
Longwood Elementary School IPSN PTA BOARD (TEMP)
McCarty Elementary School Annette Heneghan
Owen Elementary School Mary Frances Koyl
Patterson Elementary School Jyoti Limaye
Peterson Elementary School Kathy Dudero
Spring Brook Elementary School Beth Farland
Steck Elementary School Terry Behm
Watts Elementary School Angela Karellas
Welch Elementary School Kristi Cage
White Eagle Elementary School Shobha Kumarapuram
Young Elementary School Michele Linden
Crone Middle School IPSN PTA BOARD (TEMP)
Fischer Middle School Bobbie roth
Granger Middle School Michele Linden
Gregory Middle School Amy Skarr
Hill Middle School Karyn Borden
Scullen Middle School Padmini Sriman
Still Middle School IPSN PTA BOARD (TEMP)
Indian Plains High School IPSN PTA BOARD (TEMP)
Metea Valley High School Penny Boyle
Neuqua Valley High School IPSN PTA BOARD (TEMP)
Waubonsie Valley High School Janine McDonough (TEMP)
STEPS - Transition Program IPSN PTA BOARD (TEMP)


To sign up or let us know of your interest in volunteering for IPSN, please contact us via the following form:


Thank you!


Special Needs Liaisons and Chairperson: 

Communicate between your home school PTA and IPSN PTA to create awareness and help promote our PTA’s speakers/meetings, events and relay membership information through staff for parents and caregivers. 


Contact: Michele Linden at


We have some great fundraisers that help fund many of our great events and programs including the Teacher Grant program. In addition to becoming an IPSN PTA member, we hope that you will participate in some of our fundraisers. Thank you for participating in our fundraisers!


Dominick’s eScrip program

Please register your Dominick’s Fresh Values Card online today!  IPSN PTA will receive up to 4% of your purchases throughout the year if you register your card with IPSN PTA and use it at the checkout. Be sure to share this link with your friends and relatives that shop at Dominick’s and have them sign up their card as well!

  • Visit
  • Click on “About the Program”
  • Click on “Sign Up”
  • Under Group Name, enter: Indian Prairie Special Needs PTA (use entire name)
  • Group Number: 500017360
  • Shop at Dominicks and present your Fresh Values card at check out!


Restaurant Benefit Days

  • Check back for information on upcoming restaurant benefit fundraisers

 Please consider registering with before you do any online shopping and help the IPSN PTA raise some funds.


How iGive Works:

  • GO TO
  • SELECT your favorite cause (“Indian Prairie Special Needs PTA”).
  • REGISTER with and SEARCH &/or SHOP brand name online stores through the Mall.  Just searching for stores/item generates funds and if you make a purchase a percentage is donated to IPSN PTA.  SAVE money with exclusive coupons/free shipping deals.  Plus, when you shop within 45 days of registering donates an extra $5 to IPSN PTA!
  • There are over 700 vendors to shop from including many well known stores like Kohl’s, Meijer, Gap, AMAZON.Com, Avon and so many more!
  • Search the web through (a search engine powered by iGive!), using the search engine will raise a penny or more for my cause every time it is used.  you don’t even have to purchase anything to be raising money


If you have any questions, comments or ideas for fundraising, please contact Michele Linden, 1st VP, IPSN PTA at or 630-585-9177.


2014-2015 IPSN PTA Board


Contact us at


Penny Boyle - President

My daughter, Sophie, is a junior at Metea Valley HS. Sophie was born in Sweden and we moved to Naperville in 2003 when Sophie started kindergarten. Sophie has been diagnosed with Receptive & Expressive language disorder, ADD, Auditory-processing disorder and anxiety. I grew up in Sweden and my husband, Mike, is from the Southside of Chicago. I work full-time at Centrad Healthcare LLC here in Naperville.


“IT TAKES A VILLAGE TO RAISE A CHILD” When it comes to kids with special needs I believe that quote is true. I have come to realize that almost everything I know about resources for my daughter I have received from friends, acquaintances and strangers with disabled family members.


My goal as IPSN PTA President is to gather and share resources, about school and community, which will help families, caregivers and students. I have a great team and I’m confident we will have a great year.



Julie Parker - 1st Vice President

My name is Julie Parker. 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 2014-2015 school year, my oldest will be a sophomore at Waubonsie and my youngest will be in the fourth 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 wellbeing 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 the 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.



Kathy Panagopoulos - 2nd Vice President

I have two young boys and live with my family in Naperville, a place I've called home for the past seven years. During this time, my oldest son has been diagnosed and re-diagnosed a few times, based on tests, observations, and evaluations. His quirkiness currently places him on the Autistic Spectrum, but as many parents know, labels are just one part of any treatment. This is the first time I've served on a PTA board, and feel grateful to give back in a meaningful way to a community that has helped my husband and me in both big and small ways to help our son.


In my previous life, I lived in Chicago and spent more than 10 years in corporate public relations.



Shobha Kumarapuram - Treasurer

I am a stay at home mom with 2 wonderful kids. My son is 12 years and is on the autism spectrum. My daughter is a typically developing 6 years old. I have a background in Electrical engineering and MBA and worked in the Telecomm industry before the world of autism took me by storm. I am currently pursuing my Masters in Special Education to enhance my knowledge to educate children with special needs.


I have been in and out of the PTA for a couple of years. This year I intend to increase my working knowledge of PTA by taking up the "money person" post, as I would call a Treasurer. I am very excited at this opportunity to be part of this new wonderful team. I hope to meet more people, share experiences and gain understanding as to ways and means support our children. I look forward to the coming year.



Nanette Cote Recording - Secretary

While I am originally from Rhode Island, the Midwest has felt like home to me for half of my life. In 1995, I relocated to Aurora, Illinois to work as a speech-language assistant in an elementary and middle school settings. I continued my work in the same district throughout graduate school and in 1998, I received my MA in Communication Disorders at Northern Illinois University. My practicums and clinical studies were completed in New England; however, several years later, I returned to live in the "Windy City" while working for a traveling clinical agency. After finishing my work commitment, I trekked back to Massachusetts and married my husband, Chris, then had our son, Drake.


In 2011, my husband's company relocated us to Naperville and I couldn't be happier with the opportunities that this area provides for our now eight-year-old son and my speech career! By 2012, I launched my private practice, Naperville Therapediatrics out of my home office. That same year, my speech-language blog: was recognized as one of the top 100 blogs of the year.


After having settled in both at home and work, I wanted to be sure to stay connected and current on the needs of children in my home district. When I saw that there were openings on the special needs PTA board, I thought that a position on this board would be the perfect opportunity for me to learn more about our school district and help make a difference for families. I hope to provide more educational opportunities about resources available in our district for children with special needs by proactively being part of a team that organizes professional presentations. I look forward to a successful year with a dynamic team!



Trudy Sanchez - Corresponding Secretary

My daughter, Carly, is in Kindergarten at Owen Elementary. Our home school is Gombert.


I joined the IPSN PTA board in hopes to meet and collaborate with other parents and caregivers with special needs children. My goal is to use my association with IPSN PTA to bring special needs awareness to my local community, as well as, gain their support in providing resources to our members. Having a special needs child brings unique challenges to life that many people do not understand. I find myself having to frequently explain things to people who have never experienced special needs parenting or care giving. Having a caregiver support group along with community support and resources is crucial to our special needs community. What better way to do that than through a group where everyone has similar wants and needs.


I look forward to advocating with you and for you.



Contact Us

Is there something you'd like to tell us? Please let us know!

Here's what to do if you have a school-specific concern.

Street Address

Crouse Education Center (map)

780 Shoreline Drive

Aurora, IL 60504

Main Office Phone


New to the District?

Our registration packet will help you get started…

Click here for more detailed registration information.


Our featured video: A+ Award.

View more videos at

More Ways To Communicate

Community members without students enrolled in Indian Prairie can subscribe to 204 e-News, our official email newsletter. Please click here to sign up.

Our mobile app is now available:

Android app on Google Play

©2007 Indian Prairie Community Unit School District 204, serving Aurora, Naperville, Bolingbrook, & Plainfield, IL.