Board Member Bios

Lori Price

School Board President
lori_price@ipsd.org

Lori Price has been actively involved in District 204 since moving here in 2005. She served for 4 years as President of the Indian Prairie Special Needs PTA and was also a member of the Indian Prairie Parents’ Council from 2007 - 2011, where she served one term as an at-large member of the executive board, as well as serving on the Legislative Committee. Lori also serves on District 204's Special Olympics Advisory Board.

She has been an active member at Owen Elementary, Still Middle School and Metea Valley High School PTAs. She has served in varying capacities, including Special Needs Liaison and Legislative Chairperson, in addition to volunteering countless hours in the classrooms. Lori has also served on State Representative Darlene Senger’s Educational Advisory Committee since 2009.

Lori has participated in several professional development opportunities with the Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB) as well as the National School Board Association (NSBA). Continuing in her legislative advocacy, she has been actively involved with the Legislative Education Network of DuPage (LEND).

Lori grew up in downstate Illinois and graduated from Eastern Illinois University with a Bachelor's Degree in Consumer Affairs. Prior to becoming a stay-at-home mom, Lori served as Customer Service Supervisor at Kmart's Headquarters in Troy, MI before being promoted to Manager of Credit Card operations, in which she was responsible for the rollout of their proprietary credit card program in over 2,300 stores nationwide, including its development, marketing, and training. Currently, Lori is employed part time as a divisional buyer for a local retailer.

She and her husband, David, reside in Aurora with their two children. Her term will expire in 2019.

Michael Raczak

School Board Vice President
mike_raczak@ipsd.org

Michael Raczak is a retired educator with 38 years of experience as a teacher and administrator. He began his career as a teacher and later became principal of the Ray Graham Habilitation Center. He also worked for the LaGrange Area Department of Special Education, School Association for Special Education in DuPage County, and Butler School District 53, where he started one of the first inclusion programs in Illinois. In 1991, Raczak joined Indian Prairie School District 204. He served as a middle school assistant principal and principal and also an elementary school principal.

During his career, Raczak led schools that received numerous honors including Association of Illinois Middle Schools and National Forum to Accelerate Middle Level "School to Watch," National Association of Secondary School Principals "100 Highly Successful Schools," Illinois State Board of Education "Exemplary Business Partnerships Award" and "Academic Excellence Award" for high student achievement for five consecutive years. He has also been honored in the community as the recipient of the Indian Prairie District 204 Parent Diversity Advisory Council "Equity Champion Award," the Naperville Jaycees "Outstanding Educator Award," and, the Illinois State Board of Education's "Those Who Excel Award."

Raczak has served as the president of the Association of Illinois Middle Schools, the president of the Illinois Association of Persons with Severe Handicaps, and served on the Illinois State Board of Education Steering Committee on Autism.

Raczak has a Bachelor's degree in Education and Special Education and a Master's degree from in Special Education from Northern Illinois University. His term expires in 2017.

Dr. Benjamin White

School Board Secretary
benny_white@ipsd.org

Dr. Benjamin White is a retired Lieutenant Colonel who served 22 years in the Army as a Field Artillery Officer, leading and mentoring soldiers throughout his military career before retiring from active duty in 2008. Over the years, White's leadership skills and strong commitment to teaching and learning helped to develop future leaders. He taught at the United States Military Academy at West Point and served as Professor of Military Science/Battalion Commander of the Reserve Officer Training Corps program at Wheaton College. He continues to inspire and motivate students by working with the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps program at Joliet West High School. Closer to home, White has volunteered his time and talent as a mentor, parent volunteer, and guest speaker at several District 204 schools.

White has a bachelor's degree in Management Studies from West Point. He also earned a master's degree in Kinesiology from Indiana University and a MBA from Webster University. He received his doctorate in Values Driven Leadership from Benedictine University. His term expires in 2017.

Dr. Maria Curry

maria_curry@ipsd.org

Dr. Maria Curry has been involved in District 204 as a member of Indian Prairie Parents Council, Indian Prairie Project Arrow PTA and Parent Diversity Advisory Council. She also co-founded SMART Moms, a network of volunteer tutors that assisted elementary school students in math and reading and provided tutoring to at-risk students as a volunteer with the Quad County Urban League. Her career includes currently working as a senior partner at Imago Energy LLC and previously serving as Business Development Manager/Research Scientist at BP and Senior Research Scientist at Dow Chemical. Curry has served as a board member for the National Hydrogen Association and she presently serves on the National Hydrogen Education Foundation board. She holds an MBA in Finance and Strategy from the University of Chicago and a doctorate in Chemistry from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Her term expires in 2017.

Justin Karubas

justin_karubas@ipsd.org

Justin Karubas is a lifelong resident of District 204, having attended Waubsonie Valley High School, Hill Middle School and Clow Elementary School. Since 1998, he has been an attorney at the Wheaton law firm of Rolewick & Gutzke, where his practice is limited to estate planning, estate administration and estate litigation. Karubas served as a Director of the Indian Prairie Educational Foundation as chair of the Donor Development Committee and At-Risk Committee. He is married with three children. His term expires in 2019.

Cathy Piehl

cathy_piehl@ipsd.org

Cathy Piehl, a long-time resident of the Indian Prairie community, was appointed to fill an unexpired term in September 2008. Cathy graduated from Eastern Illinois University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. She later received her Masters in Social Work degree from the University of Illinois-Chicago with an emphasis in administration, policy analysis, and community organizations.

An active volunteer with the Parent Diversity Advisory Council (PDAC) and the Indian Prairie Parents Council, Cathy brings to the board a passion for cultivating strong partnerships between schools and the community. Cathy served as IPPC Representative and legislative chair for the Watts PTA. Through PDAC she introduced Dialogue Circles, which offers various stakeholders within the district an opportunity to work together and share their experiences on sensitive topics relevant to the school community. She and her husband reside in Naperville with their three sons. Her term expires in 2017.

Mark Rising

mark_rising@ipsd.org

Mark Rising has been a District 204 resident since 1998. He has been involved with the Indian Prairie Parents' Council, the Metea Valley High School PTSA, the Granger Middle School PTSA, the Nancy Young Elementary School PTA, and was previously the first 1st vice president of the Indian Prairie Special Needs PTA. As an IPPC representative, he served on the Legislative and Unity Committees. In addition, Mark has also been actively involved in District 204's Parent Diversity Advisory Council.

Mark has participated in several professional development opportunities with the Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB) as well as the National School Board Association (NSBA). Through professional development Mark has achieved and maintained IASB Master School Board Member status since 2013.

Mark graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater with a bachelor's degree in communications and marketing. He has more than 20 years experience in sales management, IT consulting, sales and account management in the healthcare and legal technology fields.

Mark resides in Aurora with his wife and two children. His term will expire in 2019.