Naperville’s Stefene Skowronski returns home to teach and coach three sports across District 203

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Naperville’s Stefene Skowronski looks to build on her family’s legacy by being involved in numerous District 203 activities. This Feature Story is sponsored by Edward-Elmhurst Health.

“Growing up, when I was in high school at Naperville Central, we had such a big rivalry with North and my family did as well,” said Naperville North Freshman Girls Basketball coach, Stefene Skowronski. “So, I was always joking around that, I’m never going to teach at North, I’ll teach at Central.”

That joke turned into an ironic reality for Stefene Skowronski, who graduated from Naperville Central in 2018. Just over four years later she landed a job in the multi-needs program at Naperville North, only a mile away from her alma mater.

From rivals to friends

In addition to her teaching responsibilities, she now coaches three different sports in District 203 across multiple grade levels and genders.

“Then when I got the opportunity to be here at North, I realized, Wow, this school is the same thing,” said Skowronski. “They’re both great high schools in this community. I think for my family it’s still a little bit hard (to support North), but I do a really good job of putting on my blue and orange and my red and white still.

It might be hard for her family to get used to because from 2013 to 2021, there was at least one Skowronski student playing sports at Naperville Central.

Honoring her brother Matt and pursuing his dreams

Stefene’s older brother, Matt, passed away at the age of 16 in 2015 from a heart condition. As a sophomore, Matt was named to the All-conference team in varsity volleyball, in addition to playing on the varsity basketball squad.

Matt’s love for the game of basketball drove Stefene to pursue one of his dreams; coaching. Stefene, who did not play basketball in high school is currently in her first season as a Freshman girls basketball coach at Naperville North. Despite not having much playing experience, growing up watching Matt gave her plenty of knowledge of the game.

“I think he is very proud of me,” said Skowronski. “I think he’s looking down from there and he’s just proud of me every day for coaching. He knows it’s harder for me, but I think he knows that I grew up going to every single one of his practices and every single one of his games. So I grew up around the sport.”

Just like Matt, and her younger sister Kaitlyn, who now plays collegiately at Millikin University, Stefene Skowronski played varsity volleyball at Naperville Central. She does still don the red and white for part of the year because, in the fall, she makes the one-mile trip after school to NCHS. She coaches the sophomore girl’s volleyball team, working under her former varsity coach, Brie Isaacson.  

“It’s really cool because I get to work with her and I get to sit on the bench with her,” said Skowronski. “I get to use some of the things that I learned from her, now as a coach today.”

Naperville’s Stefene Skowronski joins the “Huskie-Hawk” club

Skowronski, who could be known as a “Huskie-Hawk,” will spend almost every day after school this year at practice. In the spring, it’s back to volleyball, as a boys varsity assistant coach with the Huskies.

“That’s something that is a little bit of a difference for me between the girls and the boys because the whole game changes because of the height or the size of the players,” said Skowronski. “I think it’s cool because I get to see two totally different sides of volleyball, boys and girls, and then two different levels.”

Once classes end in May, Skowronski will continue to coach summer camps and school. The grind never stops, but the Huskie-Hawk is happy to be a part of both schools and keep the Skowronski athletic legacy active in the Naperville area. 

“I’m happy to be a Huskie and happy to be a Redhawk,” said Naperville’s Stefene Skowronski. “Being a part of the Naperville District 203 community as a whole is a really special thing that I’m happy to be a part of.”

For more prep sports stories, visit the Naperville Sports Weekly page!