Board Member Bios

Michael Raczak

School Board 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 2021.

Justin Karubas

School Board Vice President
justin_karubas@ipsd.org

Justin Karubas is a lifelong resident of District 204, having attended Waubonsie 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

School Board Secretary
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. Piehl graduated from Eastern Illinois University with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She later received her Master’s degree in Social Work 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, Piehl brings to the board a passion for cultivating strong partnerships between schools and the community. She 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 2021.

Susan Demming

susan_demming@ipsd.org

Susan Demming has been an active part of the District 204 community since her children entered IPSD in 2001. She became an engaged member of the PTA and has held officer and/or committee chair positions at Fry Elementary, Scullen and Still Middle Schools and Waubonsie Valley High School. Demming was a charter member of the Project Arrow PTA and co-authored the establishing By-Laws. She served on the districts’ Citizens Communications Advisory Committee, ensuring communication was transparent, constant and immediate, especially during prior boundary discussions. She has continued to work on initiatives to enhance struggling students' academic success.

Professionally, Demming is a pr/marketing and workforce development consultant. Formerly a corporate marketing executive at Viacom, she negotiated multi-million dollar contracts for core product distribution and along with her husband, was an entrepreneur in the Fox Valley area, employing both district students and residents.

She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Rice University and an MBA in Marketing/Management from Columbia University. She is married and has 2 daughters. Her term expires in 2021.

Laurie Donahue

laurie_donahue@ipsd.org

Laurie Donahue is a senior director leading global quality initiatives at Nokia and has more than 30 years leading diverse business and technical teams working for the various forms of AT&T/Lucent. Throughout her career, Donahue has been involved with business development, portfolio management, strategy, marketing, purchasing and a variety of technical assignments on large scale projects. She has been responsible for capital budgets of $250M as well as a $1B purchasing program.

Donahue has served as a volunteer and leader in a variety of community organizations, including chairing the Naperville Sister Cities Commission with a special emphasis on driving a connection between our schools and Nitra Slovakia. In 2016, with Donahue's leadership, over ninety choir students and chaperones from Neuqua Valley High School visited Nitra Slovakia.

She holds a Bachelor's in Computer Engineering from the University of Michigan and an MBA from Benedictine University.

Donahue has lived in Naperville for over 35 years where she resides with her husband. She has two adult children who attended District 204 schools from kindergarten through graduating from Neuqua Valley High School. Her term expires in 2021.

Natasha Grover

natasha_grover@ipsd.org

Natasha Grover is an attorney advisor with the Social Security Administration. In her role, she focuses primarily on disability benefits, writing decisions for judges and rendering legal advice for cases. She also mentors and trains attorneys on regulation changes. Prior to her current position, Grover worked as an attorney for the Department of Children & Family Services and the Immigrant Law Center.

She has been an engaged volunteer in District 204 since her oldest child, who is now a freshman in college, attended kindergarten. She currently has children who attend Welch Elementary and Neuqua Valley High School. In addition to volunteering in the schools, Grover has volunteered her time for a variety of causes, including homelessness, mental illness, pro bono adoption, and Gavel Clubs where children learn communication skills.

Grover earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from George Washington University and her law degree from Washington College of Law, American University.

In October 2018, Grover was appointed to fill a vacant position on the board. Her appointed term will expire in April 2019.

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 the first vice president of the Indian Prairie Special Needs PTA. As an IPPC representative, he served on the Legislative and Unity Committees. In addition, Rising has also been actively involved in District 204's Parent Diversity Advisory Council.

Rising 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 he has achieved and maintained IASB Master School Board Member status since 2013.

As a graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, he holds 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.

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