School Board

2018- 2019
About the Ascension School Board

The School Board is advisory group which assists the Pastor and Principal. It develops and recommends policies, recommends the School's budget, recommends tuition rates to the Pastor, helps to promote the School and its programs, and assists with fundraising.

Each spring, three members are elected to serve a three-year term. The Principal and Pastor also serve on the Board, but are not voting members. The Pastor retains the final decision-making responsibility on all Board recommendations. The School Board does much of its work through committees (finance, academics, etc.) which may include both Board Members and other concerned parents, parishioners, or faculty. 

The School Board meets regularly, usually the second Monday of each month. The School Board Schedule is available on this web site and through the school's Wednesday Mailing. School parents and parishioners are welcome to attend Board meetings, which include a public comment period. 

Comments may also be sent to the School Board via e-mail to Meg Nelligan.

Ascension School Board’s Mission:
Ascension’s School Board advocates that a strong, vibrant Catholic school is critical to the overall health of Ascension parish.
Ascension School Board’s 2018-19 Goal:

2018-19 Committees:

  • Academic: 
  • Finance: Jason & Barbara
  • Extended day:
  • Marketing/Development: Katie V.
  • Athletics-
  • Technology-Kenny & Meg
  • Long-range planning: 
  • Maintenance: & Space - Dianne & Bill 
  • Recruitment & Retention - Katie B & Dianne
  • Parent Education - Mona & Maureen

Board Minutes are here.

Recent Policies

Cell Phone Use Policy 


At the September Ascension School Board meeting, the School Board approved the updated cell phone policy. It provides:

"No cell phones are allowed in a student’s possession during the school day. Students must turn in cell phones to the homeroom teacher upon entering the classroom each morning. Students are not allowed to use cell phones during the hours of 7:45 a.m. – 3:15 p.m. Any cell phone found on a student will be confiscated and returned only to the parent/guardian."

An Open Invitation to Ascension Parents and Parishioners

Please consider serving on the School Board or one of its committees. 

  • As a School Board member you participate in shaping the direction of the school.
  • It's also a great way to get involved in your children's education. 

Elections are held every March. But why wait till election time to decide? If you are interested in serving please contact the Board by e-mail or Call the School today at 708-386-7282 to express your interest or to get more information.

School Board Nomination Form 


School Board Members 2018 - 2019     


Meg Nelligan      Meg Nelligan, Chair, has been a frequent volunteer for a variety of activities, currently serving her fifth year as Co-Chair of the Ascension Run-A-Thon. She serves as a member of the newly formed Recruitment & Retention Committee and has solicited donations for the Blue Tie Auction for the previous five years. She led Catechesis of the Good Shepherd to school second graders for four years and served as a Catechist for the Parish program for four additional years. She worked with a group of parishioners to write a marketing plan for the Living Your Strengths program. She was elected twice to the Ascension Religious Education Board (2008-2014), serving as Chair for three years. Meg earned a BBA from the University of Notre Dame with a concentration in Marketing and a second major in English/ Creative Writing. Her varied experiences in marketing include stops at The Leo Burnett Company and Yahoo! She currently serves as COO at local tech start-up Tapster Robotics, Inc.. 




 Bill Skalitzky     Bill Skalitzky Bill and his wife Liz have been members of Ascension parish since 1993. They have six children, all of whom attend or attended Ascension -- Mary Kate ('09), Maggie ('10), Jack ('12), Will ('14), Tommy ('16) and Hugh (graduating '17).  Bill is an attorney with Applegate & Thorne-Thomsen, P.C.  Both he and Liz have previously served on the Ascension School Board, among other parish committees.  Bill is excited to have the opportunity to serve the school community once more, during the last year of the Skalitzky family's wonderful 19 years at Ascension School.   







 Barbara Vijuk      Barbara Vijuk  graduated from DePaul University with a degree in Honors Accounting, and has run the "back office" of a number of organizations during her 20+ year career -- primarily nonprofits.  She is currently in charge of accounting, finance, insurance, legal, risk management, HR (i.e., everything that's not program or fundraising) at a nonprofit organization that helps schools implement personalized learning.  Prior to that, Barbara served for 13 years (ultimately as the Assistant Executive Director) of a nonprofit that provides early childhood education (i..e., preschool, daycare) and camping and recreation services on the north side of Chicago and northern suburbs. An Ascension parishioner, she has benefited from the Finding Your Strength program.  She has also served a few terms as a room parent.  





Kenny Burns    Kenny Burns is a 2002 graduate of Ascension School.  He has done volunteer work with the Make a Wish Foundation and Junior Achievement.  He works as a senior consultant for Deloitte Consulting.  “I hope to bring my deep understanding of Ascension’s culture as well as my management consulting experience to advise on key decisions that will need to be made over the next three years.”  








Mona Stepansky     Mona Stepansky will have four children attending Ascension this fall.  She has been an active member of Home & School as a room parent, and the chair of Buddy Bowling.  Dr. Stepansky is a Pediatric Neuropsychologist in private practice.  She says, “As working parents of four children, my husband Chris and I have had to share the responsibility of educating and caring for our children along with Fr. Hurlbert and the Ascension faculty and staff.  We have felt welcome from day one and continue to feel supported year after year.  I would like to give back to the school community by helping the School Board with goals related to the spiritual and academic growth of the students, both in the regular school day and within the Extended Day Program.”







Maureen Heffernan Ponicki    Maureen Heffern Ponicki currently teaches in the Political Science Department at University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC)
where she is also working on her dissertation, in pursuit of a doctorate in political science. Before UIC, she received a MA in International Economics and Development at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and a BA in International Studies from
American University. She has been a frequent volunteer serving as a room parent for many years, a Run-a-thon team member, a confirmation mentor, the legislative advocacy point person for the school, as well as past membership on the parish’s peace and justice committee and, along with her husband Mike, one of Ascension’s marriage mentors. She has two children at Ascension.





Jason Kennedy     Jason Kennedy  has a BS -Economics, MBA, and also MS in Investment Management. He is currently a senior credit analyst at PPM America, which is the US
asset management arm of Prudential PLC, a large UK insurance company.In addition to this, he is also an assistant boy’s lacrosse coach (volunteer) at St. Ignatius. In terms of parish involvement,he is active in POLO and previously coordinated POLO Guy’s Night Out. The Kennedys' have two children at Ascension.







Dianne Risch     Dianne Risch  holds a BA in Journalism from the University of South Carolina. Her past community and school involvement includes: Auction
committee, room parent, Home and School, girls volleyball assistant coach, and Northwestern Brain Tumor Institute Advisory Council. She has been an active Ascension parishioner for the past 18 years and a school parent for 10 years.






Katie Brunick     Katie Brunick     graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a BBA in accounting.  She worked at Deloitte for 10 years in both their audit and Strategic Client Services practices as a senior manager.  Katie and her husband Nick have been parishioners at Ascension since 2008.  They have 4 children, all of whom are students at Ascension.  Katie has served on many boards and committees at Ascension Parish and School including Home and School, auction committee, Mission Day, Ascension school Run-aThon and AWC.  This is Katie’s second term on the school board.











School Board Meeting Schedule
for the 2018-2019 School Year

School Board meetings are held in the Parish Center Dining Room starting at 7 p.m. 
Please check the Wednesday Mailing and The Dome for any updates.
Parents, faculty, staff and parishioners are welcome to attend.

August 13, 2018 December 10 April 8
September 10 January 14,, 2019 May 13
October 15 February 11 June 10
November 12 March 11  

2018-2019 Minutes

August December April
September January May
October February June
November March  





2017-2018 Minutes

August December April
September January (No Meeting) May
October February June
November March  

2016-2017 Minutes

August December April
September January May
October February July
November March  

2015 - 2016 Minutes

August December April
September January May
October February June
November March  


2014 - 2015 Minutes

August December April
September January May
October February June
November March  

2013 - 2014 Minutes

August December April
September January May
October February June
November March