Deacon takes on new role

Dawn Deacon’s recent promotion to the special education department chair allows her to better help students not only in high school, but also as they transition from middle school to high school, and even into college and beyond.
“I help the special education teachers advocate for students to get services, and I help parents navigate the special education program so that their child gets the services they need,” Deacon said.
Her new position has brought many new changes and responsibilities, but she still makes sure every student gets the help they need.
“I do lots of meetings, both inside the building and outside. I do a lot of collaboration with Central, but I rarely get time to even answer emails. There’s not a lot of downtime, but I know that all the meetings are important and essential,” Deacon said.
Despite the busier schedule, Deacon works to make sure every student feels safe at North.
“I go to middle school transition meetings, and I try to make the transition between middle school and high school easier. Sometimes we give tours of the school to make sure it doesn’t seem scary, or we make sure they have accommodations if they have an IEP in place,” Deacon said.
Through her twenty years of being a school psychologist and her twelve years of working at Grayslake North, Deacon has acquired many strategies to talk to students.
“I love everything about working here,” Deacon said. “I love working with the students, which is actually why I chose to become a school psychologist. It’s important that the students know we’re here and willing to help, and there are so many services for them both in and out of the school. Needing help is not a weakness; it’s a strength.”
With all the new responsibilities she has, it can be hard to balance work, home, and hobbies.
“I’m still working on balancing my new position. I end up bringing work home, and I’m trying to incorporate my lifting more. I’ve found myself lifting more on the weekends because that’s when I have the time. I want to lift more during the week, and I believe I will after I learn the job well. I want to do what’s best for everyone, and then fit my outside life in there too,” Deacon said. “There needs to be that balance for me to be a whole person.”