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D219 New District Office Employees

Please welcome these new District office team members.

Kenya Austin, Director of Business Operations

Kenya Austin brings to D219 more than 14 years of education finance experience. She served most recently as Director of Business Operations & Technology at Country Club Hills School District 160, where she managed the district’s fiduciary funds, prepared the district’s budget and advised the Superintendent on financial affairs. She managed a $6 million capital project that included new STEM and Applied Technology facilities, a new HVAC system, new roofing and renovated parking lots. She also assisted the Director of Human Resources and provided public relations and grant writing services for the district.

Kenya served the Illinois State Board of Education for six years as Regional Financial Consultant, monitoring the financial condition of school districts in seven northern counties, including Cook County, and providing assistance to school districts with financial deficits. She was involved in the Financial Oversight Panels for Round Lake School District, Proviso Township High Schools District 209, Hazel Crest School District 152-5 and North Chicago School District 187, where the state monitored and approved all financial aspects of the district for a maximum of 10 years. She has also worked as a senior accountant in private business.

Kenya earned a Master of Science degree in Education from Northern Illinois University and a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Governor State University.

Andrea Douthard, Executive Assistant for Equity and Legal Services

Andrea Douthard joins D219 in this new position. She comes to the district from the University of Chicago Professional Education School, where she served most recently as Assistant Director of Enrollment Management. In that role she created and administered a Five-Point Student Advising Plan that includes targets and goals, benchmarks, yearly events and recruiting travel based on data analysis of students’ needs. Prior to that she was Recruiting and Admissions Specialist for University of Chicago’s Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies. Before that, Andrea was Admissions Recruiter for DeVry University, Inc.

Andrea earned a Master of Public Administration degree from Keller Graduate School of Management in Chicago, specializing in Nonprofit Management. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Mississippi, Oxford.

Ricky Gooden, Accounts Payable Assistant

Ricky Gooden is joining D219’s Business Office, after serving the district as a Special Education  Paraprofessional since 2012, most recently at Niles Central. He helped students reinforce their learning targets and skills, both individually and in small groups. He has served as Special Olympics coach and helped with Niles North’s Council for Exceptional Children program. He is also the Assistant Sophomore Boys Basketball Coach for Niles West.

Ricky also serves as a Community Builder and Life Skills Tutor for the Center for Independent Futures in Evanston, where he serves as an emergency overnight presence for participants with special needs. Prior to working in education, Ricky worked in private industry, including at Alliant Credit Union as a Member Service Representative and as a Legal and Compliance Officer for the lending department. Ricky earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration from Bethel College, with a minor in Criminal Justice.

Samina Hussain, Executive Assistant for Community Relations

Samina Hussain brings to the Community Relations department a strong background of involvement in our community. A Niles West alumna and mother of two Niles North graduates and a student at Golf Middle School, she has served since 2007 as a Board of Education Member for Golf School District 67 in Morton Grove, including as Vice President. She has been a member of the Coming Together Planning Committee for five years. She has served on the Election Committee for the Muslim Community Center for the past four years.

Samina has been active in parent organizations including the Niles North Athletic Booster Club and the District 67 PTA. She also served on the Village of Morton Grove Community Relations Commission for 10 years. Samina started her career as an educator, including as a Teaching Assistant at the University of Illinois in Chicago (UIC), as an Instructor at Columbia College, Chicago, and as an English Teacher at Von Steuben Math and Science Magnet School in Chicago. She earned a Master of Arts in English Literature from UIC and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Loyola University in Chicago.

Laura Le, Business Office Generalist

Laura Le comes to the district from Skokie School District 73.5, where she served for three years as Receptionist and School Secretary. Laura managed essential school functions at Elizabeth Meyer School, such as providing administrative support, handling purchases and requisitions and keeping student attendance records. Laura also helped plan such special events as the district’s International Night, STEM Night and Socktober Dance.

Laura also served at Elizabeth Meyer School as a Lunch and Recess Supervisor and as Kindergarten classroom volunteer.  Laura earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Washington, where she was selected to be part of the Politics and Values program.

Edie Riportella, Payroll Coordinator

Edie Riportella brings to D219 school business experience from Golf School District 67 in Morton Grove, which she served for more than four years as Business Services Coordinator. In that role she prepared payrolls and all required business office reporting, coordinated transportation and assisted with the district’s annual budget and financial reporting.

Before that, Edie was Business Management Assistant for the Northwest Suburban Special Education Organization in Mount Prospect. She provided accounting and billing assistance to the Director of Business Services and CSBO. Edie studied Accounting at Northeastern Illinois University.