Board


Mary Beth Arzac – President
Mary Beth, Foundation Board President, and her husband Joe have lived in Highland Park for the past 15 years with their two children Christopher (HPHS ’20) and Andrew (HPHS ’23). She received her BA from the University of Chicago and her MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Management. Mary Beth currently works at startup NeuroPath, serving people who live with Parkinson’s Disease, and serves as an Advisor at Inference Analytics, unlocking the potential of unstructured text in health systems. Mary Beth also serves as a lead mentor at MATTER Health through their C2MP program.

Leslie Alter – Community Volunteer
Leslie has lived in Highland Park for 20 years with her husband Jay (HPHS graduate) and their children Will, Cate (HPHS ’23) and Tommy (HPHS ’23). Leslie earned her B.A. in Political Science from the University of Iowa, and her MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Leslie’s professional background is in Human Resources and College Career Services/Recruiting. Leslie is currently the Director of Donor Relations at College Bound Opportunities (CBO). Leslie has served in leadership roles in D112 elementary and middle school PTOs, the PTO Presidents’ Council, and at Family Service of Lake County as a Development Associate. She is also current Trustee and past Chairman of the 112 Education Foundation.

Lisa Berghoff – Highland Park High School Director of Instructional Technology
Lisa has been an educator in District 113 for over 25 years. She has worked as a special education teacher at DHS and is currently the Director of Instructional Technology at HPHS. Lisa feels a strong connection to the mission of the Foundation by promoting and supporting innovation in education in her current role and has a passion for supporting student learning in new ways. She is also a Google For Education Certified Trainer, Innovator, and Coach. In 2019, Lisa was awarded the Making It Happen award from the International Society of Technology in Education (ISTE). She also has her own business, Connected Ed. LLC, which provides professional development and support for educators all over the world. Lisa lives in Highland Park with her husband and two boys, Asher (HPHS ’22) and Logan (HPHS ’25) as well as their dog, Hendrix.

Aaron Ferrer – Executive Committee and Treasurer
Aaron and his wife Yvonne have lived in Highland Park for since 2010 with their two children, Aaron Jr. (HPHS ’16) and Ayiana (HPHS ’22). Aaron is currently employed with Peoples Gas based out of their headquarters in Chicago, IL. Prior to joining Peoples Gas, Aaron served 22 years in the United States Army and Illinois Army National Guard. He holds a Masters Degree in Public Administration (MPA) from Arkansas State University and B.S. in Public Administration from Roger Williams University.

Karen Frey – Community Volunteer
Karen currently manages philanthropy for Medline Industries located in Northfield, IL. Previously, she worked in public policy communications for a variety of clients in the high technology industry and the federal government.  Karen is an HPHS 1988 alum and graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Madison with a B.A. in philosophy and political science. Karen received her Masters in public communication from the American University. She and her husband Seth have lived in Deerfield for more than 10 years raising their three children Casey (DHS ’18), Leah (DHS ’20) and Jayne (DHS ’24).

Evelyn Gehrig – Highland Park High School Student

Janea Harris – Executive Committee and co-chair of Vision and Strategic Planning
Janea and her husband have resided in Highland Park with their two children for the past 5 years. She is an author and poet who loves writing for children and adults of all ages. Janea is the owner of SupHERbooks, LLC and has published two children’s books. Additionally, her works of poetry have been published in several Highland Park Poetry anthologies. Previously, Janea spent over 15 years as an educator at both the secondary and post-secondary levels. She currently serves on the Board of Reach Out and Read, IL, is the President of D112’s PTO Presidents Council and was recently appointed to the City of Highland Park’s Human Relations Advisory Group. Janea holds a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from Mercer University and a Master of Education from Notre Dame College.

Pam Hollander – Executive Committee and Grants
Pam Hollander is an innovative marketing executive with a passion for advancing brands through sponsorships and brand engagement. As Vice President of Consumer Marketing at Allstate, Hollander developed and led the brand’s national sponsorship and engagement marketing Center of Excellence. Pam also spent her early career on the PR agency side prior to joining Allstate.  She is a Syracuse University graduate, serves on the Board of Directors for the Falk School of Sport Management at Syracuse University, as well as on the Board for the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center.  She and her husband, Gregg, along with their two sons (one a recent HPHS graduate and D113 Foundation Board Member, and one a current HPHS student) and their dog, Dunkin, live in HP. Pam is also a graduate of HPHS.

Karyn Karel – Community Volunteer
Karyn has been working as a school social worker in District 112 at Braeside School in Highland Park since 1999. She is an alumnus of Deerfield High School Class of 1991, and lives in Deerfield with her husband and two daughters (DHS ’22 and ’24). She is excited to be a part of the District 113 Education Foundation as she values education and community partnership.

Lindsay Katai – Deerfield High School Student

Dr. Bruce Law – Superintendent District 113

Sara Lubezny – Community Volunteer
Sara is currently an attorney with Hilgers Graben, PLLC, and has also enjoyed her various roles as stay-at-home parent, Montessori preschool teacher, volunteer, business manager and academic tutor. She is a member of the District 109 Diversity & Inclusion Committee, Lake Forest Civic Orchestra (viola), Deerfield Plan Commission and Tennaqua Board of Directors. Sara is from Flint, Michigan. She graduated from Albion College with a B.A. in political science and earned her J.D. from Loyola University Chicago School of Law. Sara and her husband, Steve, have lived in Deerfield for 11 years, raising their children Jake (Shepard Middle School – DHS ’28) and Neva (Kipling Elementary – DHS ’30), as well as everyone’s favorite family member Sully (their Golden Retriever.)

Jessica Lew – Deerfield High School Student

Claire Lovell – Executive Committee and Communications
Claire and Kevin Lovell have lived in Highland Park for the past 7 years with their two children James (HPHS ’21) and Maeve (HPHS ’23). She received her Bachelor’s of Science in Speech and Language Therapy from The University of Ulster in Northern Ireland and her Master’s of Science in Profound and Multiple Learning Disability from the University of Manchester UK. Claire is an active volunteer dedicated to helping in her community as a military spouse over 16 years, most recently in the Highland Park area. She currently serves on HPHS Bandstand Executive Board and 112 Education Foundation.

Jon Mall – Community Volunteer
Jon is a social studies teacher in Highland Park (since 2003) at Northwood Jr. High School and a life-long resident of the community (HPHS ‘91). He graduated from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with a B.S. in Journalism and has his Master of Arts in Teaching from National Louis University. In 2018 Jon was awarded the Highland Park Community Foundation Golden Apple Award for excellence within the teaching profession. Over the years he has written and received several grants from the 112 Education Foundation and is looking to pay it forward by helping to “promote and support innovative educational opportunities” for Highland Park and Deerfield High School students as part of the 113 Education Foundation Board. Jon and his wife Jamie (DHS ‘91) have twin boys, Jacob (HPHS ‘22) and Eli (HPHS ‘22), and a dog named Willy.

Julia Nathanson – Highland Park High School Student

Yumi Ross – Executive Committee and Recruitment
Yumi is an architect who has lived in Highland Park for more than 23 years. She served two terms on the NSSD 112 school board and was board representative to: the North Suburban Special Education District, the City of Highland Parks Human Relations Commission, Community the Anti-Drug. She serves on the 112 Education Foundation’s Board. She is President of The Art Center Highland Park, has served on the Women’s Board of the Museum of Contemporary Art for 23 years and is on the MCA’s Exhibitions Committee. She is a board member of CPS Lives. Yumi holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Bryn Mawr College and a Master’s in Architecture degree from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. She and her husband Doug have twins—Camryn (HPHS ’17) and Ian (HPHS ’17).

Silvia Rota – Community Volunteer
Silvia and her family have lived in Highland Park for 18 years with her son Giulio (HPHS ‘20). She is an attorney and a teacher. She has been on TriCon board, volunteered for the North Shore legal aid, and is currently involved with College Bound Opportunities (CBO), Boho Theater and FOCUS on the Arts at HPHS.

Leslie Rubin – Community Volunteer
Leslie and her husband Ken have lived in Highland Park for 18 years with their two children Lucy (HPHS ‘19) and Peter (HPHS ‘20). She has a degree in Advertising from the University of Illinois, working in catalog production and design for 15 years before becoming a freelance designer. She has been on Edgewood PTO boards, HPHS Bandstand Executive Board, College Bound Opportunities, and FOCUS on the Arts at HPHS.

George Spathis – Executive Committee and co-chair of Vision and Strategic Planning
George, and his wife, Lisa, have resided in the District since 1995. Their three children are graduates of Highland Park High School (classes of 2011, 2014 and 2017). George has been a practicing attorney for more than twenty-six years. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (B.A. Political Science), and earned his J.D. (with High Honors) from Chicago-Kent College of Law, where he served as an Executive Articles Editor for the Law Review. George is a partner in the Chicago law firm of Levenfeld Pearlstein, LLC, and for the last four years, he has been a volunteer coach for the HPHS Mock Trial Team.

Joe Taylor – High School Assistant Principal
Joe Taylor has spent more than 20 years in education as a teacher, activity sponsor, and instructional technology leader. Joe came to Deerfield High School in 2014 and has served as both Director of Instructional Technology and Assistant Principal for STEAM Instruction. Joe studied history and English as an undergrad and has postgraduate degrees in history and school leadership. He is currently working on a Doctorate in Instructional Technology. Outside of school, Joe spends his time with his wife Nicki, teenage daughter Katherine, and a Labrador retriever named Phantom.

Paige Arnold – Executive Director
Paige is an attorney and active member of the Illinois Bar, with a B.A from Syracuse University and a J.D. from The John Marshall Law School. Paige and her husband Steven (HPHS ’87) have lived in Deerfield for the past 19 years with their 3 children (DHS ’20, ’22, and ’25). Paige has been deeply involved in community service and education, including leadership positions as Co-President of the DHS PTO and President of the Shepard Middle School PTO.

Susie Wexler – Executive Committee and Community Volunteer
Susie, Foundation Board Co-President from 2013-2016, is the director of BJBE’s Early Childhood Program at the Chava Center in Deerfield. A previous chairperson for the Deerfield Caucus, she currently serves as the Chairperson of the Deerfield Volunteer Engagement Commission. She has served in a variety of volunteer roles at the elementary, middle and high school level. She earned a BS in Psychology from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana, an MSW from Jane Addams College of Social Work and is currently workin towards a Masters in Jewish Education and Leadership at HUC-JIR. Susie lives in Deerfield with her husband Dave, maintaining the home that their children – Marisa (DHS ‘13), Jonathan (DHS ‘15) and Allison (DHS ’18)- use as a base for their life adventures.

Lisa Xilas – Executive Committee and Secretary
Lisa has been a Highland Park resident for over 20 years. She has a BA in Business Administration from Hope College and has worked in the Human Resources field, specifically in Compensation & Benefits. She has been on PTA/PTO boards as Lincoln, Edgewood, and Highland Park High School. She is actively involved with College Bound Opportunities, District 112 Fun(d) Run, and Focus on the Arts. Lisa and her husband Andy have two daughters: Madison (HPHS ’15), and Brayden (HPHS ’17).