Gateway to Learning’s mission is to provide lifelong learning for
adults with intellectual challenges and developmental disabilities
that promotes active inclusion at home, at work, and in the community.
It’s official! Kathryn Lavin is Gateway’s new executive director, and she is ready to lead and serve. Board President, Bob Smolen stated that after a long and thorough candidate search and interview process, everyone is thrilled to have found Kathryn “Kathy” Lavin. “The Board was extremely impressed with her credentials, her commitment to Gateway’s participants, and her enthusiasm to make an impact.”
In response, Kathryn has offered her personal words about her leadership appointment. “I am SO excited to join the Gateway to Learning family. From the moment I first walked through the doors, I could see the joy and respect among the participants and staff. As a parent of a 21-year old daughter with a disability, I know how valuable this is. I am also very humbled and honored to share in the great service that Dorothy, Cheri, and the entire staff have provided for so many years. I look forward to meeting and working beside everyone who touches Gateway in some way to make this community and the world a better place for people with DoAbilities.”
As we’ll all get to know Kathy over the next few months, here’s some important information Gateway wants everyone to know about her credentials. She was the Executive Director of AblePlay-Lekotek, a national leader of inclusive and accessible play. For 30 years she provided a myriad of services to children and adults with intellectual challenges/developmental disabilities. She is an active advocate for persons of ALL abilities and for inclusive education; and she has extensive experience in strategic planning and in program, professional, and policy development. Her Board memberships include the Chicago Community Trust Disabilities Fund, the Adult Down Syndrome Clinic, and the national organization, Camp Pals. Kathryn holds two BA degrees, one in Education and the other in Human Development. She obtained her master’s degree from the Jane Addams School of Social Work.
In addition to Kathy's appointment, the Board has promoted Malgorzata "Maggie" Zukowska to a new position as Gateway’s Director of Operations. Maggie's 20 years of service at Gateway complements Kathy's 30 years in social service. Both women are looking forward to working together to provide the leadership that will keep Gateway strong and growing.
It is with great sadness that we share with you that long-time Gateway instructor and Executive Director, Cheryl Hennelly, passed away on Monday, December 18, 2017. She dedicated her life's work to the children and adults with intellectual disabilities and their families that graced the hallways of Gateway. She treated each participant as if they were they were her own child instilling them with love, confidence, and responsibility. She was respected and trusted by every family that sent their loved one to Gateway.
Cheryl is irreplaceable but we will honor her legacy of passion and dedication by continuing to provide the highest level of training and services possible. Our thoughts and prayers are with her husband, two children, her family and all those that she touched.
Cheryl L. "Cheri" Hennelly (nee Oberg) - beloved wife of Gerry; loving mother of Samantha and Patrick; fond daughter of Patricia (nee Benanti) (Tony) Hack and the late Roy (Barbara) Oberg; dear sister of Linda (Kevin) Hand and the late William, Mark and Christine Oberg; loving aunt and friend of many. Memorial visitation at Cooney Funeral Home 625 Busse Hwy Park Ridge on Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Service at 5 p.m. Interment private. In lieu of flowers donations to Gateway to Learning ( 4925 N. Lincoln Ave. Chicago) would be appreciated. Info 847-685-1002 www.cooneyfuneralhome.com
Gateway to Learning Special Education and Training Center serves adults with intellectual disabilities in Chicago, IL. Through the active involvement of 30 faculty and staff, our participants receive the education and training to which they are entitled and which is designed specifically for them.
The hallmark of Gateway is the provision of individualized programs which meet the unique needs of each participant. These specialized programs provide adults with a place to develop and use their skills to enrich their lives and contribute to the surrounding community. Gateway is open 12 months a year to maintain consistency of skill development for participants.
Gateway to Learning opened in 1974 to provide appropriate academic and pre-vocational education to children with special needs from age 3 to 21. Success led to an expansion in 1979 to include pre-vocational programs for adults 21 and over with intellectual disabilities. These specialized programs provide adults with a place to develop and use their skills to enrich their lives and contribute to the surrounding community.
Gateway to Learning moved to the Lincoln Square neighborhood of northwest Chicago in 1986 into a building designed and built specifically for Gateway's programs and needs.
Today, Gateway to Learning serves over 80 adults with diverse abilities. Our participants represent every race and ethnic origin. Gateway to Learning serves all of Chicago and nearby suburbs.
Gateway to Learning Special Education and Training Center
4925 N. Lincoln Avenue Chicago, IL 60625-2609
P. 773-784-3200 F. 773-784-3299
Dorothy's Can Do Cafe
4925 N. Lincoln Avenue
Chicago, IL 60625-2609
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