Meet our Board Members
Deb Martin, President, has been serving the residents of Homer 33C for more than a dozen years. She was first elected to the Board of Education in 2003 and re-elected in 2007, 2011 and 2015 -- making her the most veteran board member. She has helped steer the district through periods of growth (including the construction of Young School and renovation work at Schilling School) as well as the hiring of two superintendents -- J. Michel Morrow in 2010 and Kara Coglianese in 2014. When faced with tough decisions, she always relies on her experience as a parent, teacher and community member to guide her. “I am not a politician,” she once told a reporter. “I’m here, first of all, as a parent of (four) students who have gone through the district.” Mrs. Martin lives in Homer Glen and teaches second grade in Joliet Public Schools District 86.
Elizabeth Hitzeman, Vice President, was elected to the board in April 2015. She is a retired educator who dedicated 26 years to the development of young minds in Homer Community Consolidated School District 33C. She and her husband, Kurt, moved to Homer Glen in 1978 when his engineering position brought them to the area. They raised two daughters here and built both of their homes here because they fell in love with the community atmosphere.
Mrs. Hitzeman received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Education from the University of Illinois at Chicago and subsequently earned an additional 63 hours in postgraduate study in the fields of technology and education. Before moving to Homer Glen in 1978, Mrs. Hitzeman worked in management, overseeing multiple departments for Bell and Howell Schools in their Home Study Division in Chicago. She joined the Homer 33C family in 1988, teaching sixth graders up until her retirement in June, 2014. She estimates she taught 1,700 students during the course of her career. In 2006, she was named recipient of the Teacher Recognition Award from the Give Something Back Foundation.
As school board members, we have the responsibility to oversee the successful implementation of the mission/vision of our district’s strategic plan, states Hitzeman. I believe that success is, in part, related to the positive relationships and support built between students, staff, administration and community.
Karen DeFilippis, Secretary, was elected to the board in April 2017. She is a retired educator, having taught 5th grade and junior high school students for 30 years. Many of those years were spent in Homer 33C, teaching at Schilling School and Homer Junior High School. She and her husband, Mike, moved to Homer Glen in the early ‘90s and raised two children. Their oldest, Kaleen DeFilippis-Holba, grew up to be a teacher -- just like Mom.
Mrs. DeFilippis received her bachelor’s degree in Business from St. Xavier University and master’s degree in Math Education from St. Xavier University. She joined the Homer 33C family in 1999 and taught math up until her retirement in June 2016. Not only did she shape young minds for 30 years but encouraged students to help others by sponsoring the Homer Junior High School Honor Club for a number of years. Under her leadership, the service club wrote letters to servicemen and women; created posters for Red Ribbon Week; visited residents at a local retirement/assisted living facility; and collected toys for children hospitalized at Comer Children’s Hospital during the holidays. She also collaborated with administrators, teachers and support staff to make Homer 33C a community of excellence.
Russ Petrizzo, Member, was elected to the board in April 2015. He has been an active member of the Homer community for more than 30 years, serving on various boards and committees, including the St. Mary School Board, the Homer Township Chamber of Commerce, the Homer Founder’s Club, the Homer Township Republican Organization, Will County Governmental League and the Disabled Patriot Fund. He holds the distinction of serving as Homer Glen’s first Mayor. He was appointed to the role by Judge Haas when the Village was incorporated in 2001. Prior to that, he served two terms as a Homer Township Trustee from 1993 to 2001. Mr. Petrizzo is a graduate of Mendel Catholic High School in Chicago and attended Moraine Valley Community College where he received his Associate’s degree. He obtained his degree in Business Economics from Illinois Benedictine University. He works as a Financial Advisor, providing wealth management services for high net worth individuals and their families. He and his wife, Mary, have two adult children, Matthew and Michael.
Adam Briner, Member, moved to Homer Glen in 2013 because of the school system. His oldest son, age 8, attends second grade at Schilling School. His youngest son, age 5, will attend kindergarten in the fall. Mr. Briner became acquainted with the district more than a decade ago when he worked here as a teacher. He taught at Homer Junior High School for eight years before switching career paths. He now works for an insurance company as an auto damage supervisor.
Mr. Briner received his Bachelor of Arts degrees in English and Secondary Education from Purdue University and master’s degrees in Educational Leadership and Teaching and Learning from the University of St. Francis.
Kevin DeSchaaf, Member, was elected to the board in April 2017. As the father of two young children, he is anxious to set (and meet) challenging goals for the students, teachers, parents and citizens of Homer 33C. He and his wife, Nicole, moved to Lockport in 2001 and have two daughters -- a first-grader at Butler School and a fourth-grader at Butler School. He is one of the school’s few Art Dads and has enjoyed serving as a room parent volunteer.
Mr. DeSchaaf received his bachelor’s degree in English from Eastern Illinois University, with a minor in secondary education. Even though he considered being a teacher at one time, he chose to pursue a career in business instead. He works in digital advertising, giving him a unique perspective on the constantly changing world of technology and how it affects our lives.
Christine Marcinkewicz, Member, was elected to the board in April 2017. As a parent, taxpayer and educator in a neighboring school district, she brings a wealth of experience to the board. She not only understands school mandates and laws but has experience making hard financial choices. She takes pride in being a collaborative leader who listens to all points of view while maintaining a positive school climate and demonstrating fiscal responsibility. She is committed to providing the best opportunities for students while keeping an eye on long-term budget ramifications. Every decision she makes is guided by what’s best for kids.
Mrs. Marcinkewicz received her bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Northern Illinois University. She and her husband, Jack, moved to Homer Glen in 2002 because of the educational opportunities offered by the schools. They have two children -- a third-grader at Butler School and a sixth-grader at Hadley Middle School.