D187 Family & Community Liaison
NCCHS Class of 1994
North Chicago schools actively recruit their alumni to return to work in the community. It instills pride in everyone to see North Chicago’s own helping the next generation to succeed.
Ebony, a North Chicago native, oversees all School District 187 communications with the community. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Ebony has visited senior housing complexes to connect seniors with needed services. She is also making sure people know about district buses parked in key spots around town to distribute food.
There are a lot of things happening here that don’t happen everywhere else… We don’t let students fall through the cracks or fall behind. That’s especially important now, for our students’ long-term success.
Warhawk Pride: “You have to teach tradition and you have to teach pride. I tell students: ‘You live in Prairie View. I used to live in that same area! I’m proud to be from North Chicago. I want you to be just as proud!’ I tell them that I was once sitting in these classrooms, this auditorium. I was once cheering on these sidelines. I want them to be able to see themselves in me.”
Grew up in Rolling Greens—known today as Prairie View—across the street from NCCHS
Attended Novak-King Elementary (K-8); NCCHS Class of ‘94
Studied for two years at University of Illinois, then Parkland Community College
Moved back home to North Chicago to work for an insurance agency
Started coaching Cheer at NCCHS in 2000
Became a paraprofessional at NCCHS in 2001
Studied at College of Lake County, and then Chicago State, where she completed her Bachelor’s in Career and Technical Education, while working full-time at NCCHS
Became Family & Community Liaison in 2012, first at NCCHS, now in all schools
Ebony’s North Chicago history:
“I remember every teacher from K-8. My 7th grade teacher really had an impact on my life. That year, my brother in the Army had a serious accident and was in a coma for months. My mom needed to be with him. I remember clinging to my teacher, who was like my mom that year.”
• • •
“High school was the best time of my life. I had a community. I was on the cheerleading team, student council. People knew me because of my siblings. I graduated in the top 10% of my class and got accepted to U of I. But I wish I had the support that the kids have now—the push to go to college and the discipline to stay in college.”
• • •
“Although I grew up here, and worked at the high school since 2001, I hadn’t even been in some D187 buildings. That’s how it was: you know your school, but you don’t go in somebody else’s. I had never been at Green Bay, Neal, AJK, Forrestal.”
Ebony’s North Chicago vision:
“Now I’m everywhere and I love being able to build relationships. Staff, students, and families recognize me. They know who I am. They have somebody they can trust. That’s where my long history here comes in: some of my former students are preschool parents at Green Bay. They know they can depend on me to be a voice for them. They know I was once in their shoes.”
• • •
“Today, there are fewer homeowners, an outrageous mobility rate, and homelessness in North Chicago. But there have also been a lot of positive changes. I’m pleased where things are going. There are a lot of things happening here that don’t happen everywhere else: Warhawk Summer Up opportunities, college and career coaches—we don’t let students fall through the cracks or fall behind. I feel like we’re actually turning that corner for success.”