Literacy advocate Christine Nicarico-Roy retiring from Naperville’s District 203

Donate Today Buy This Video

“I have had a wonderful opportunity here in District 203. I’ve taught at River Woods Elementary, I’ve been at Mill Street, I’ve been a classroom teacher at the elementary level, and then now as learning support coach the last few years,” said Christine Nicarico-Roy, Learning Support Coach at Mill Street Elementary School.

Christine Nicarico-Roy retiring from Naperville District 203

Nicarico-Roy is retiring from her role at Mill Street Elementary School at the end of the year. The Naperville Central alumna spent her entire career in Naperville School District 203, teaching for nearly 36 years.

But she may be best known for co-directing the Jeanine Nicarico Memorial Literacy Fund. She created the fund with her sister Kathy, their parents, and close friends to honor her sister Jeanine, who at the age of ten was abducted and murdered in 1983.  

Co-directing the Jeanine Nicarico Memorial Literacy Fund

“It’s a way of saying thank you to the community and promoting literacy for all learners. It’s also just a way to bring light to her name and keep it in a positive memory as time has gone on. But most importantly, it’s to grow our learners in our district and to give literacy an opportunity to win,” said Nicarico-Roy.

Though Nicarico-Roy is retiring from education, she will still be involved with the fund. It will continue providing grants and scholarships to promote literacy as well as a new opportunity that was promoted by her late mother, Pat Nicarico.

“What we’re starting this year as our main fundraiser or beginning of a new fundraiser is we are going to have our first annual literacy conference. This will be for teachers inside and outside of District 203 called the Teach Learn Glow Conference and we have almost over 20 presenters and experts coming from all over the country to present during this conference about literacy,” said Nicarico-Roy.

The Teach Learn Glow (T.L.G.) Conference is replacing the G.L.O.W. 5K, which took its last lap in 2023. It will take place at Naperville Central High School on May 29 and May 30.

Supporting the community through the fund

T.L.G. is one example of what Jeanine’s fund offers to the community.

“It’s just been very rewarding to see $900,000 been gifted to not only our district but surrounding districts and parochial schools in her honor to better literacy instruction and literacy growth for teachers and students,” said Sue Salness, principal of Mill Street Elementary School.

District officials are grateful to the Nicaricos and the fund for the collaboration.

“What’s absolutely amazing is being able to partner with Chris, her family, and through the Nicarico Literacy fund, being able to have her provide those experiences for our district is awesome,” said Jennifer Donatelli, director of curriculum and instruction in Naperville District 203.

If you have a story idea, we want to hear from you!