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Bob is a practicing attorney with over 20 years of experience. Growing up on the Northwest Side of Chicago he is no stranger to Catholic education–he graduated from Immaculate Conception Grade School, Saint Patrick High School and the University of Notre Dame. He is married to Lelia Harig and together they are the parents of five children, the youngest of whom has cerebral palsy. They founded the Rosewood Foundation so that children with special needs can have the opportunity to attend Catholic schools, be educated in their faith, and receive the spiritual, academic and social benefits that only a Catholic education can provide.
Lelia and her husband, Bob have five children, and their youngest has special needs. Lelia currently works in the business office of a Catholic elementary school. She graduated from Saint Mary’s College (Notre Dame IN) with a degree in Fine Arts. She and Bob struggled to find a Catholic school for their daughter and that experience inspired the family to found Rosewood Foundation.
Darlene attended The University of Chicago and holds a Master of Public Health degree in Biostatistics and Epidemiology. She is currently working in leadership for an animal welfare organization in Chicago. After researching education options for her family, Darlene found the Rosewood Foundation and was eagerly ready to be a part of the team, hoping that one day, her youngest daughter could be included in a Catholic school. She is married to Ryan, and together they are parents to three delightful daughters and a much-loved dog and cat.
Sharon Kestler has been an integral part of five private schools in the Chicagoland area. She has taught at Lexington College in Chicago; Kingswood Academy for seven years; Embers Academy for ten years; and Willows Academy for three years. Mrs. Kestler is currently at Embers and has been teaching Advanced Math for the last five years. Mrs. Kestler and her husband, John Kestler, (Math teacher of 30 years at Northridge Prep), have seven children and 15 beautiful grandchildren.
Kate McConnell is currently serving as Vice President for Student Advocacy and Family Engagement at ADAC. Following professional stints as both a journalist and a special education teacher in public schools, Kate became the Director of Inclusive Education at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Academy and, later, the Director of Inclusive Education for the Office of Catholic Schools of the Archdiocese of Chicago. A certified Learning and Behavior Specialist, Kate holds a bachelor’s degree from Towson University and graduate degrees from Loyola University Chicago and DePaul University.
Karen and her husband, Chris, have 6 grown children in their blended family. Karen is a Special Education teacher, with public and Catholic school experience. Most recently, she taught at Saint James School and also served as the Coordinator of Open Doors Ministry, which provides access to religious education for children with special needs. Karen is currently pursuing an advanced degree in Early Intervention/Child Development. Through her coursework, she is learning many more ways to serve the children of God.
Mrs. Thursby holds a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature and Writing from St. Mary’s College (Notre Dame); an MBA in Marketing Communications from DePaul University; and an M.Ed. in Instructional Leadership from the University of Illinois-Chicago. She has recently completed the Program for Inclusive Education at Notre Dame. In addition to being an avid reader, she enjoys long bike rides with her husband.