Mundelein High School

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Volunteer earns state recognition

Victoria holding the plaque she received

Mundelein resident, Veronica Villaseñor, has earned the Illinois State Board of Education Award of Meritorious Service for Community Volunteer, for the work she does for the Mundelein schools and community. She was nominated by three members of the MHS staff who work with her: Jamie DiCarlo, assistant superintendent of student services for districts 75 and 120; Stacey Gorman, assistant superintendent for teaching and learning, District 120; and Sol Cabachuela, parent liaison for District 120.

“Typically, we would have celebrated these accomplishments, along with those of many others, at our annual Teacher of the Year/Those Who Excel banquet in October,” said Dr. Carmen Ayala, state superintendent of education. “It is unfortunate that the COVID-19 pandemic forced the event to be canceled,” Ayala explained.

“Veronica has worked tirelessly bridging relationships and communications between our bilingual families and the schools as her children have attended both District 75 and District 120 schools,” DiCarlo said.

 Villaseñor volunteers in a number of ways in the community communication between bilingual families and the schools, being active in the Latino Police Academy in Mundelein, the Mundelein High School Parent Ambassadors, Universidad de Padres and the MHS Bilingual Parent Advisory Committee. “She serves on various panels and focus groups as well and is truly invested in increasing access and comfort levels of families when it comes to school,” Gorman explained.

Throughout the pandemic, Villaseñor has been at every food distribution event of every type, never missing an opportunity to support the community. This includes more than 30 food/supply/gift distribution events that she has been part of. Two to four days a week she volunteers to distribute breakfast and lunch at one of the MHS food distribution spots in Diamond Lake. “We are better because of her and we learn from her,” Cabachuela said. “She is selfless and patient and also hilarious and she really manages the whole crew at our volunteer events.”

Prior to the onset of the pandemic, Villaseñor was instrumental in the organization of the District 120 Welcome Center and all of its events. “She volunteers weekly to organize new donations of food, clothing and supplies at the Welcome Center and facilitates families getting what they need,” Gorman explained.

“She never stops and is nothing short of absolutely amazing,” DiCarlo said.

“You took on the challenges associated with an unprecedented pandemic with an unwavering determination that has been a shining example for all students of how to handle adversity. I truly admire you and your wonderful accomplishments and personally thank you for all you do for students in our great state,” Ayala concluded.

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