Connect with us

Community News

Where are they now – Devon Largio

Published

on

11 years ago, Devon Largio was sitting through her last few classes at GHS, imagining what life would be like after high school. Even then, she probably wouldn’t have guessed her undergraduate work at U of I would have been featured on James Carville’s Crossfire or that she’d be working for one of the top law firms in Chicago.

Devon, born and raised in Gillespie, graduated from Gillespie High School in 2000. Her success in academics during her high school career followed her to U of I where she graduated in 2004 with a B.A. in Political Science with honors: summa cum laude, Highest Distinction in Politcal Science, and Bronze Tablet, which denotes the top 3% of graduating students.  Her senior thesis about the rationales for the war in Iraq — what people in the White House, Congress and the media were saying about why we needed to go to war leading up to when the war resolution was signed in the fall of 2002 – was featured on James Carville’s Crossfire, published in Foreign Policy magazine, and featured in the Washington Post. John Kerry also referenced her work during one of his presidential campaign speeches.

After graduating from U of I and still riding her success from her senior thesis, Devon decided to pursue a career in law. She went to Vanderbilt University Law School. She was a member of the Vanderbilt Law Review, where she also had an article published in the journal. She also served as a  research assistant for the Dean of the law school during her third year. She graduated in 2007 with honors, Order of the Coif, which denotes the top 10% of graduating students.

After graduation, she accepted a position at Kirkland & Ellis LLP in Chicago, a top tier law firm. She is now a fourth-year associate at the firm, and works on complex litigation for major clients. Her work focuses on defense-side civil commercial litigation — contract disputes, securities fraud, and auditor malpractice.

Even with all of her early success and the bustling life of the city,  she still smiles when she reflects about her days growing up in Gillespie. Her fondest memory is when she played Laurie Williams in the high school’s production of Oklahoma.  When she can find time, she tries to make it few times a year to visit her parents and hopefully see some of her high school classmates.

 

If you know someone who is no longer in the area, but would be a good candidate for “Where are they now”, please e-mail us at news@thebengilpost.com

 

 

Advertisement

 

Share this story

Comments

comments

Community News

School board deals with personnel issues during special meeting

Published

on

By

Stephanie Bray

Meeting in special session Monday night, members of the Community Unit School District 7 Board of Education accepted “with regrets” the resignation for purposes of retirement of Stephanie Bray, one of the district’s three technology integration specialists, effective June 4.

The board called a special session to deal with the apparently unexpected resignation before the board’s regularly scheduled monthly meeting later this month. However, board members tabled action on approving a revised job description for the Student Information System/Data Integration Specialist position, pending further discussion.

The board also tabled action on posting the newly created vacancy and tabled posting a district-level secretary’s position.

In February of 2022, the board accepted “with regrets” Bray’s announcement of her retirement “no later than the end of the 2025-26 school year.” There was no indication of why Bray moved her retirement date up by two years.

On a motion by Weye Schmidt, seconded by Amanda Ross, the board voted unanimously to accept Bray’s resignation. The action followed a 50-minute executive session to discuss personnel issues behind closed doors. The public portion of the meeting lasted less than 10 minutes.

In other action, the board voted to renew the district’s One Room contract to offer a remotely taught Spanish class to fulfill the district’s foreign language requirement for the 2024-25 school year. This will be the second year an off-site teacher will teach foreign language at GHS, using remote communication technology. Supt. Shane Owsley said the district had no applications for the vacant teaching position last year. This year, an applicant from Brazil explored the possibility of teaching in Gillespie but ultimately accepted a tutoring position at Greenville University. Owsley said hiring the applicant could have become cumbersome because she was not yet certificated to teach high school Spanish. He said he recently changed the job description from Spanish to foreign language to expand the pool of potential applicants.

In other personnel action, the board approved the maternity leave request of Amber Allan, BenGil Elementary physical education teacher, effective Aug. 28 through Jan. 20.

In separate actions, the board accepted Nathan Henrichs resignation as Gillespie High School freshman football coach, posted the position as vacant, and appointed Henrichs as a varsity assistant football coach. The board also voted unanimously to appoint Alex Jasper as an assistant freshman football coach. The board unanimously accepted Wayne Ireland’s resignation as a volunteer assistant football coach, and voted unanimously to appoint Jarrod Herron and hire Trenton Cleveland as volunteer assistant football coaches.

Advertisement

The board voted unanimously to hire Michael Rodriguez as a high school volunteer assistant women’s basketball coach.

On a motion by Schmidt, seconded by Kelli Vesper, the board hired Alexis Ollis as a head cook and kitchen staff member, pending documentation of certification and a background check. The board also Brittany Hughes as a district kitchen staff worker, pending documentation of certification and background check.

On a motion by Vesper, the board voted unanimously to post a vacancy for a one-on-one paraprofessional aide.

Board members voted unanimously to accept the resignation of Jessica Kelly as a middle school assistant track and field coach and voted unanimously to hire Jay Weber as the high school head track and field coach.

The regular monthly meeting of the board is set for 6 p.m., Monday, June 24, at the district’s administrative office.

Share this story

Comments

comments

Continue Reading

Community News

Americana festival set for July 4 at Benld Park

Published

on

Jess Barker, The Lodge Brothers, and The New Prairie Drifters are set to take the stage at Benld City Park on Thursday, July 4 as part of the Americana Festival.

The music festival intends to celebrate the birthday and spirit of America with thriving local culture of music, food, and art. It is scheduled to begin at 12 noon and end at 6 pm.

Food will be available for purchase from The Barracks American Table, a new Gillespie restaurant, and skincare products will be available from Nature’s Bliss, a Benld gift shop.

The park is located at 305 North Main Street in Benld. Admission is free.

Share this story

Comments

comments

Continue Reading

Community News

Macoupin County Fair underway until Sunday

Published

on

Rides, tents, food trucks, music, animals, and plenty of other offerings fill the grounds at the Macoupin County Fair for the 172nd year. The fair is held June 4 through June 9 at the Macoupin County Fairground north of Carlinville.

The oldest county fair in Illinois, the Macoupin County Fair welcomes thousands of guests to the area and unites agriculture, family, and community. The fair continues through Sunday with highlights every evening.

The fair also meets the needs of families on a budget, for just $10 per person you get parking and all-access to the carnival rides. The cost-friendly fun draws in visitors and locals who get to embrace the county’s namesakes.

Tracy Lawrence and Walker Montgomery are set to take the stage Thursday evening, June 6, at 7:30pm. Friday evening features the tractor and truck pull, and Saturday evening is the crowd-favorite demolition derby.

The fair opens every morning at 8am and closes at 12 midnight. For a full list of schedule of events or to pre-pay for entry, visit the fair’s website here.

Share this story

Comments

comments

Continue Reading

Trending

×

We need your support. If you value having timely, accurate news about your community, please become one of our subscribers. Subscribe