Board appoints Maria Pascarella to special programs coordinator position

The Downers Grove Grade School District 58 Board of Education approved on Monday, June 8 the appointment of Maria Pascarella to the special programs coordinator position, effective this July.

“We are thrilled to welcome Mrs. Pascarella to our District 58 administrative team!” said Assistant Superintendent for Special Services Jessica Stewart. “The interview teams were especially pleased with Mrs. Pascarella’s passion for working with students with disabilities and their families, as well as the broad range of experiences she spoke to in helping support specialized populations. Additionally, she is described by her references as patient, organized, collaborative and passionate about trauma-informed practices, a leader in her field, and committed to all stakeholders.”

As the special programs coordinator, Pascarella will provide ongoing coaching, technical support and professional development to District 58’s specialized programs, including the RISE and DLP programs. These programs offer highly-specialized educational services for students with significant behavioral, developmental and/or emotional needs. 

“I am grateful for this opportunity to work in District 58. I have been impressed by the level of professionalism in the district, as well as the supportive and inclusive community feel that really comes across as I get to know more people in the district,” Pascarella said. “I look forward to meeting students, staff and families, and to supporting the wonderful programs in D58.”

Pascarella joins District 58 with more than 20 years of social work and student services experience in Oak Park, Chicago and Cicero public schools. In addition, Pascarella has directly supported students with a range of needs inclusive of those with autism, emotional disabilities and developmental disorders, among others. Pascarella is fluent in Spanish and certified in Crisis Prevention Intervention, District 58’s adopted deescalation and crisis support system. 

Mrs. Pascarella earned her educational leadership and general administrative endorsement from National Louis University, her master’s degree in social work from the University of Chicago and her bachelor’s degree in journalism and English from Indiana University.