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Contact individual board members by clicking on their email address

or contact the
Board of Education at:

or phone at:
(630) 617-2304


Kara Caforio, President

Mrs. Kara Caforio was elected to the Board of Education in 2017. Mrs. Caforio has lived in Elmhurst for 13 years. She and her husband, Jonathan, have three children who attend District 205 schools. Prior to her election to the Board, Mrs. Caforio was heavily involved in the Elmhurst PTA, chairing numerous committees for the Emerson and Churchville PTAs and serving as the Emerson PTA Vice President and President. Additionally, she has worked with the greater Elmhurst community while serving as the Elmhurst PTA Council Vice-President and President and the Co-chair of the District’s Focus 205 Community Engagement Process.

She has been honored with the Those Who Excel Award of Meritorious Service from the Illinois State Board of Education, the Distinguished Service Program Award of Excellence from the Illinois Chapter of the National School Public Relations Association (INSPRA), and recognized as a 2017 Honoree by the Illinois Association of School Administrators.

Mrs. Caforio holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Education, with a specialization in mathematics, from Elmhurst College. She is a former second grade teacher in Glendale Heights, fifth grade teacher in Lake Zurich and a management and technology consultant with Accenture, LLP.

Mrs. Caforio's philosophy of education:  “Advancing the legacy of great education in Elmhurst will not happen by accident. Together, we must consider the unique needs of our students, teachers and support staff, the pace of innovation within education and the challenges of public funding, all while preparing our children for their future with a meaningful and excellent education, regardless of their academic ability or socioeconomic background."

Term expires 2021 email:
School Liaison: Conrad Fischer & York  

Committee Member:

  • Board Improvement Committee
  • O'Hare Noise Compatibility Commission 

Margaret HarrellVice President

margaret Harrell.jpgDr. Margaret Harrell was elected to the Board of Education in April 2013.  She is currently a delegate to the Illinois Association of School Boards. Prior to her election, she was involved in numerous school committees such as member of the Superintendent’s Community Advisory Committee, co-founder of YSET (York Student Enrichment Team), co-facilitator of YAT (York Advisory Team- team comprised of students, administrators, teachers, and parents addressing policy issues at York), member of York Athletic Booster Board and co-founder of the Conrad Fischer Heritage Fair and the Birthday Book Club. 

Dr. Harrell and her husband, Terry, have lived in the district for 20 years and have two children that attended District 205 schools.  She currently works in the Office of Grants Management for the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services.  Her prior work experience includes 15 years in a fortune 100 company and 5 years in not-for profit organizations.  Areas of specialization include introducing tools/techniques to maximize effective communication, identifying and developing solutions to meet peer and regulatory standards, developing and managing relationships with business partners, and knowledgeable regarding leading edge techniques and theories in Organizational Development and Change Management.  She holds a Bachelor of Science in Bio-Medical Engineering from Northwestern University, MBA in Economics from Northwestern University and a PhD in Organizational Development from Benedictine University.

Dr. Harrell's philosophy of education: "I believe that every student has the potential for success and a quality education facilitates a lifetime of opportunities. The K-12 education years are vital to the formation of a love for life-long learning.  Excellent schools are an investment in the future: an investment in our young people to prepare them for college or career, and an investment in our community to insure healthy property values."


Term expires 2021 email:
School Liaison: Jefferson & Hawthorne  

Committee Member: 

  • Learning and Teaching
  • Policy
  • IASB Delegate
  • Board Improvement Committee

Karen Stuefen, Secretary

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Mrs. Karen Stuefen was reelected to the Board of Education in April 2015.  She is currently the Board Representative for LEND (the Legislative Education Network of DuPage County).  Prior to her election, she was an EEPRT member, served on the York PTSA Executive Board, York PTSA Standards Based Grading Committee and the Bryan Middle School Treasure Hunt Clues Committee.  She and her husband, Thomas, have two children who attended District 205 schools.  Mrs. Stuefen is a community volunteer and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science, with 24 years experience working in Fortune 500 corporations (Bell Laboratories, AT&T and Sprint) specifically in research and development, sales, marketing, business development and operations. Areas of specialty include: quality and business process improvement, best practices and benchmarking, organizational development, project and program management. 

In her spare time, Mrs. Stuefen's local volunteer activities have included fundraising at Tree Town Cooperative Nursery School, Jackson Elementary and Bryan Middle Schools. She is a Eucharistic Minister and former Religious Education Teacher in Visitation Parish. Her global volunteer activities include: National Kidney Foundation U.S. Transplant Games, American Cancer Society, Children''s Memorial Hospital, Polycystic Kidney Disease Foundation, Juvenile Diabetes Research. She is a former member of Minority and Women in Business, Quality Productivity and Management Association and the Chicago Quality Council.

Mrs. Stuefen's philosophy of education: "I believe that quality education creates a lifetime of opportunities for students. Therefore, fostering a culture of curiosity and love of learning within every educational experience we offer will maximize potential for all children. This can be accomplished through courageous, collaborative, visionary leadership focused on accountability at all levels, continuous improvement, student achievement, visible results and financial discipline. This should yield effective use of taxpayer funds, return on our education dollars and students who are well prepared for success in college and vocation."


Term expires 2019 email:
School Liaison: Edison & Churchville  

Committee Member:

  • Board Improvement Committee
  • Finance and Operations
  • Performance Management
  • LEND Representative
  • Lizzadro Museum Representative

Chris Blum

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Mr. Chris Blum was reelected to the Board of Education in April 2015.  He is currently the Chairman of the Finance and Operations committee and sits on the performance management committee.  Prior to his election, he has been involved in Junior Achievement at Edison School, as well as a mentor and judge for the annual business plan competition at University of Notre Dame.  He and his wife, Nancy, have three children attending and one graduate of District 205 schools.  Mr. Blum is the Chief Financial Officer of Kerasotes Showplace Theatres, he holds a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration with a concentration in finance/accounting from the University of Notre Dame. 

Mr. Blum's philosophy of education: “I believe a solid, well-rounded education is the most important asset we can provide our children to ensure they are equipped with the foundational skills necessary to achieve excellence in whatever field they chose to pursue in an increasingly competitive world.”

Term expires 2019 email:
School Liaison: Sandburg & Emerson  

Committee Member:

  • Finance & Operations
  • Performance Management

Jim Collins

collins Jim.jpgMr. Jim Collins was elected to the Board of Education in 2009. He has served as a member of the City/Park/School Intergovernmental Committee, representing the Board's interests in such matters as Tax Increment Finance districts and other intergovernmental agreements.  He is a lifelong resident of Elmhurst, attended Field Elementary, Immaculate Conception and Sandburg Junior High School and graduated from York Community High School in 1976. Mr. Collins is a 27-year member of Visitation Parish and has been an active member of its Finance Council for 17 years. He also has been a volunteer teacher for Junior Achievement and Science Olympiad at Edison School.  He and his wife, Julie, have one daughter in District 205 . He is a Managing Director in the Fixed Income Division of Wells Fargo Securities. Mr. Collins holds both a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign College of Engineering and an MBA with a concentration in finance from the University of Chicago. 


Term expires 2021 email:
School Liaison: Bryan & Lincoln  


  • Learning and Teaching
  • Performance Management

Shannon Ebner

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Mrs. Shannon Ebner was reelected to the Board of Education in April 2015. She served as the Board representative for the Lizzadro Museum. Prior to her election to the Board, Mrs. Ebner served on the District 205 EEPRT (Elmhurst Educational Program Review Technique) budget committee and PTA Executive Board, and has also been a Girl Scout leader. She is currently an Engineer and a math/science tutor. Mrs. Ebner is a 32-year resident of Elmhurst and attended Jackson Elementary, Bryan Middle and York High School. She and her husband, Michael, are the parents of three current District 205 students. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan and a Master's in Biomedical Engineering from Northwestern University.


Term expires 2019 email:
School Liaison: Field & Madison  

Committee Member:

  • Learning and Teaching Committee
  • Policy Committee
  • City/Park/School Representative

John McDonough

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Mr. John McDonough was reelected to the Board of Education in April 2015. He currently serves as Chair of the Policy Committee and on the Learning and Teaching Committee, and the City/Park/School Intergovernmental Committee. Prior to his election, he served as the Field School PTA School Board Liaison and the Field School committee organizer for the successful 2006 school referendum.  His community volunteer activities have included Art Discovery, Science Olympiad, reading volunteer, AYSO soccer coach and referee, and parish finance committee.  All four of John and Jill’s children benefitted from the caring educators at Field, Sandburg and York.  Mr. McDonough is an attorney specializing in municipal law and real estate planning and development. He earned both a Juris Doctor and Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  In his free time, he enjoys gardening, soccer and researching Chicago area history.

Mr. McDonough believes that the District should ensure a world class education for every child and focus on educating the whole child.  His philosophy is that the Board should exercise oversight through policy, recognizing and respecting the professionalism of teachers and staff, the input of parents and community, and the great potential of each of our students.


Term expires 2019 email:
School Liaison: Jackson & York  

Committee Member:

  • Policy Committee (Chair)
  • Finance and Operations 
  • City/Park/School Representative