Meet-a-Mom, Debbie Levinthal
What’s your favorite family activity in the Hinsdale, Western Springs, La Grange, Clarendon Hills Area?
We love to walk around the neighborhood and to town as a family or to the Farmer’s Market on Monday mornings. Our youngest also loves to go bowling at Pinstripes in Oak Brook.
How many children do you have and what are their age(s)?
My husband and I have four children: a sophomore daughter at Hinsdale Central, a freshman son at Hinsdale Central, an 8th grade son at Hinsdale Middle School, and a kindergartner.
How long have you lived in the Hinsdale/WS/La Grange/CH Area? What made you decide to live here?
We moved to Hinsdale five years ago this month. Prior to living in Hinsdale, we lived in nearby Downers Grove for eight years. In 2015, we were waiting to bring our fourth child home from South Korea and needed a house with more bedrooms. We decided to move to Hinsdale to be closer to friends that are like family and for the outstanding schools. We were also a competitive swim family and were excited for our children to go to school with their swim friends.
Where’s your favorite place to eat and/or shop in the Hinsdale/WS/La Grange/CH Area?
Hands down, my favorite places to shop in Hinsdale are Kramer’s and The Fruit Store. I love the small-town atmosphere, the quality, and the conversations at check out. We have done a lot of carry out this past year and our favorite restaurants have been Wild Ginger in Hinsdale, Nabuki here in Hinsdale, Davanti in Western Springs, and Giuliano’s for pizza. We have also discovered Forbidden Noodles in LaGrange and they deliver—a bonus!
What’s one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
Most people know that I was a high school Math teacher. I had always wanted to be a teacher, but I was originally trained as an actuary and have a BS in Actuarial Science from the University of Michigan. I turned down my job offers in the spring of my senior year of college to instead pursue my MST in Mathematics and a teaching certificate.
Anyone special you’d like to thank for helping you through parenthood?
I’m blessed that my husband is a true partner in parenthood. I’m also blessed to have a small group of loyal friends to talk candidly with about the trials and joys of parenthood. Many have been friends since our children were very young. I enjoy friendships with other moms on the parenting continuum because it’s important to pay it forward and listen, advise, and support moms of younger children and learn from those with older children.
Are you involved in a business venture, a local organization, a creative endeavor, or in the corporate world? Please share!
I was very involved in our prior elementary district as well as our preschool. I served as a PTA President and Vice President, am currently on the Community Speaker Series Committee, have advocated in District 181 around safety and inclusion for food allergic students, and am also a candidate for Member of the District 86 Board of Education.
I’m running for the board with another great mom, Terri Walker, and our journey to running for the board is a story of two moms meeting in the stands of our swim club, starting to talk about why we moved to Hinsdale, staying in touch, and coming together in the fall of 2019 around a shared concern over curriculum changes in District 86.
As a former high school math teacher at Stevenson and New Trier High Schools, I am very concerned about not only the curriculum changes to Math and Science, but also the elimination of supported courses across content areas. These concerns were my call to action, along with frustration over a lack of meaningful dialogue at the board table and the limited opportunity for community input or engagement. I’ve long advocated on behalf of students, not just my own, and am excited at the prospect of advocating on behalf of all 4000 plus students of District 86. I am committed to academic excellence, ensuring best practice supports are in place for our students, open governance, respectful discourse, and holding the administration accountable for decisions based on normed and objective standards that demonstrate an improvement in student outcomes. Additionally, Terri and I share a vision and commitment for District 86 focusing on the following:
Ensure an inclusive and safe environment for all students.
Serve as stewards for the community by holding the administration accountable for representing our community’s goals and district’s vision.
Preserve high standards of academic excellence and support for all students.
We are both eager to serve the community. More information about our campaign can be found at www.vote4d86.com
How has this community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now?
The community at large is a very friendly, welcoming, supportive, and family friendly village. Within our neighborhoods, villages, and towns are parents and community members committed to our schools and children. I’ve been called on at various times to use my background in education to advocate for our students at large and/or help parents advocate on behalf of their own children. As I am no longer teaching, this work has filled my passion for helping students and their families and has been instrumental in my decision to run for the District 86 Board. It really does take a village and we are fortunate to live in a community that prioritizes quality education for all students. I am eager to serve to ensure we maintain our legacy of excellence in education.