Marie Moratto grew up in Oak Park, raised her family here and has spent 25 years working and volunteering for RUSH Oak Park Hospital. For this outstanding service to the community, Mrs. Moratto was named the hospital’s 2008 Volunteer of the Year last November.

After working for 10 years as a nurse at the hospital, including a stint as the head nurse on the sixth floor, Mrs. Moratto retired, then started volunteering. She has served as customer service representative and administrative assistant in the hospital’s Medical/Surgical Unit for 15 years. She also helps out the Employee Health Department by participating in in-service training and special events. She checked community members’ blood pressure at the hospital’s annual diabetes health fair on Oct. 31.

The Hospital honored Mrs. Moratto, along with more than 80 other volunteers who generously donate their time and talent, on Thursday, Oct. 30, at a Volunteer Appreciation Dinner at the Carleton of Oak Park. For more information on volunteering for the Hospital, contact Vasquez at 708-660-5684, or visit the Hospital’s Web site at

Rush Oak Park Hospital, a member of the Rush System for Health, located near the corner of Harlem Avenue and Madison Street in Oak Park, is a 296-bed facility. To learn more about any of the hospital’s programs or services, visit the hospital’s Web site at or call 708-660-INFO (4636).

Dean Colleen

Dominican University has appointed Dr. Colleen Reardon as dean of the School of Education. Dr. Reardon, an Oak Park resident, has been on the faculty of the school for 20 years. She served as associate professor of education and director of the Master of Arts in Education program from 2001-03. She has taught courses in curriculum development, education psychology, the historical, philosophical and legal issues of special education, and education methods for students with disabilities. In 2006, she received the university’s Excellence in Teaching Award.

She was appointed associate dean of the School of Education in July 2007 and served as acting dean of the school after the retirement of Sr. Colleen McNicholas in the spring of 2008.

Dr. Reardon’s research has focused on the area of special education and students with disabilities. She is currently part of a federal grant initiative with colleagues from Bradley University , National Louis University , and Illinois Wesleyan University on increasing the accessibility of primary sources for students with disabilities at the elementary, secondary and higher education levels. Prior to her tenure at Dominican, she worked for many years as a K-12 teacher and educational administrator.

She holds a doctoral degree in curriculum and instruction and a master’s degree in educational leadership, both from DePaul University . She also earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from St. Louis University.

Whalen in Wisconsin

Paul Whalen, a young Oak Park musician, spent two weeks this summer studying jazz at Birch Creek Music Performance Center in Door County, Wis. The son of James Whalen and Carolyn Kalina, he studies piano privately with W. Perry Johnson and Jason Pateva. A student at Oak Park and River Forest High School, Paul was among only 103 young musicians selected from throughout the country to attend one of two Big Band Jazz sessions at the prestigious school, whose unique mission is to provide intensive, performance-based instruction to promising young musicians, age 12-19, by immersing them in a professional, mentoring environment. During their two-week residency this summer, students performed eight joint concerts with their teachers before paying concertgoers.

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