By Bob Uphues
LaGrange-Brookfield School District 102's Board of Education decided the district already had the perfect candidate to replace its outgoing director of special education, voting on June 22 to hire Kateri Quiñónez, for the job.
Quiñónez, who will start her new job Aug. 1, has been with District 102 since 2010. Originally hired as a special education teacher at Ogden School and Park Junior High, she has worked as the lead resource teacher and local education authority (LEA) at Ogden and Cossitt schools since 2015.
"We are very pleased that Mrs. Quiñónez is taking on the director role, and it is wonderful that we were able to have an internal candidate fill this position," said Joyce Powell, District 102's assistant superintendent for special education, in a press release. "Her knowledge of the district's special education programs and interventions is a tremendous asset."
Prior to District 102, Quiñónez was a resource teacher at Butler School in Oak Brook and started her teaching career in 2003 in Miami. Before entering education, Quiñónez worked as a business process analyst and management trainee at Maersk Inc. in Miami.
The Clarendon Hills resident replaced Robert Condon, who served as director of special education in District 102 for the past eight years.
Condon submitted a letter of resignation in April, effective June 30. He left District 102 to become the director of special education at Alsip-Hazelgreen-Oak Lawn School District 126.
Quiñónez has a bachelor's degree in Spanish and international trade from Clemson University. She earned a master's degree in special education from the University of Miami and her director of special education endorsement from Northern Illinois University in 2012.
The new job also come with a pay bump. In 2016-17, Quiñónez was paid $57,430. As special education director, her salary for the 2017-18 school year will be $70,000.