by Mary Swenson

Maureen Kelly was a much beloved educator in Darien School District 61. She spent her entire career at Hinsbrook/Mark DeLay School, starting as a teacher’s aide, then teaching 4th and 6th grades for 19 years, and finally serving as principal for 14 years before retiring in 2009. Sadly, her much anticipated retirement was cut short when she passed away in November 2010 at the age of 59.

Maureen—best known to students and parents in the Darien District 61 community as Miss Kelly—was a warm, supportive person who went above and beyond to meet the educational, physical, and emotional needs of her students. She created a sense of community at Mark DeLay by greeting her students every morning, remembering all of their names, and helping to provide a rich educational experience. She was always there to provide a helping and supportive hand, working tirelessly to find resources to help them, whatever their needs.

To keep her memory alive, the Darien District 61 Education Foundation has created the Maureen Kelly Memorial Fund for Students. The money raised will be used to continue supporting needy students in Darien District 61 by providing educational materials (such as books and school supplies) and other educational opportunities to students who otherwise could not afford them. Please donate to support this worthy cause.

Thank you.

Students in the Kids4Good afterschool program at Mark DeLay School surround Miss Kelly at the dedication of a garden named in her honor in May 2009.

Tax-deductible donations can be made by check or money order to the Maureen Kelly Memorial Fund for Students, c/o Darien District 61 Educational Foundation, 7414 S. Cass Ave., Darien, IL 60561. Contributions also can be made online using a credit card via PayPal. Please be sure to designate that the donation is for this memorial fund.

Visit the Donate page to make a donation online.