District 234 is a one-school district with administrators and district office staff located inside of Ridgewood High School. The building leadership team consists of dedicated administrators responsible for coordinating and supervising school district functions, as well as other school leaders and faculty members responsible for leading various day-to-day aspects of the school.
Dr. Jennifer Kelsall
Ridgewood Superintendent, Dr. Jennifer Kelsall, has been at RHS for 2o years and 27 years in education total.
Jennifer Kelsall earned a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Biological Sciences, Secondary Education and Athletic Training from Illinois State University, Masters of Arts Degree in Educational Administration from Governors State University and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Educational Administration and Foundations from Illinois State University.
During her time at Ridgewood High School, RHS has had many awards and accolades. In 2011, Ridgewood High School was named to the AP Achievement List by the College Board for significant gains in Advanced Placement Access and Student Performance. Additionally, in 2013 Ridgewood was honored by the Washington Post as one of America’s Most Challenging High Schools. Most recently, in 2015, Ridgewood was named by US News & World Report as one of America’s Best High Schools.
In 2018, Kelsall was inducted into Plainfield High School Alumni Hall of Fame.
In her spare time, Kelsall enjoys many activities such as, biking, hiking, kayaking and reading. You might even catch her building/doing projects for her house or helping her husband work on their cars. Her favorite thing about Ridgewood is being part of a family that does whatever it takes to serve their students!
Assistant Superintendent of Finance and Operations
Assistant Superintendent of Finance and Operations, Thomas Parrillo, has been in education since 1991. He’s served at both Steamboat Springs High School and Fort Collins High School in Colorado before coming to Ridgewood. He’s been at RHS for 21 years.
Parrillo earned a Bachelor’s of Arts in English from Colorado State University, Master of Arts in Secondary English Education from Adams State University and a C.S.B.O. from Northern Illinois University.
During his time in education, Parrillo has won multiple awards. These awards include; the N.E.D. StuCo Sponsor of the Year and Fulbright Award, Fulbright Teacher Exchange, Ozel Isik Lisesi, Istanbul, Turkey.
He has volunteered his time to various sports and activities. He coached basketball for 16 years, baseball for two years and golf for seven; and served as a Student Council Sponsor for 23 years.
In his spare time, he enjoys camping and biking with my family. His favorite part of Ridgewood is the kindness and caring of the students who attend RHS.
Ridgewood Principal, Gina Castellano, has dedicated the past twenty-two years to the education field.
- 7 years -Teacher at elementary level
- 9 years - School Counselor at RHS
- 1 year - Interim Director of Student Services at RHS
- 3 years - Dean of Students
- 1 year - Assistant Principal
- 1 year - Principal
Gina Castellano earned a B.S.Ed from Loyola University, Chicago, a Master of Arts in School Counseling from NEIU and a Master of Arts in School Leadership from Concordia University, Chicago. She is also a National Board Certified Counselor.
In her spare time, Castellano loves all things active and hanging out out with her husband and three rescue pitbulls. Her favorite thing about Ridgewood is the camaraderie!
Eric Lasky has dedicated his career to education for the past 21 years. He spent sixteen years as a teacher and the last four years as the STEM Division head.
Lasky holds a Bachelor degree in Math Education from Illinois State University, Masters in Curriculum and Instruction from Olivet Nazarene University and a Masters in Educational Leaders from American College of Education. He is currently working on his Doctorate; he has currently completed two chapters of his Dissertation and is on track to be finished by June 2021. He is also a National Board Certified Teacher.
During his first ten years of teaching, he coached three sports, announced all home football games and was the student council sponsor. Lasky coached Track and Field for one year, Baseball for 13 years, Golf for 17 years (4 at RHS) and Basketball for 17 years (4 at RHS).
Fun fact: Lasky attended flight school and reached the point where he can fly planes on his own. He also has his advanced open water scuba-diving certification.
Dean of Students
David Hawk has been an educator for the past 13 years. Beginning as a K-8th grade physical education teacher, he found his calling in administration and has served as an Assistant Principal, Associate Dean of Students, and Dean of Students. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and a Master of Arts in School Leadership from Concordia University in Chicago.
He believes that social and emotional development, combined with academic learning, plays a critical role in education the whole child.
Hawk has also been heavily involved in athletics throughout his life, focusing on soccer and wrestling. He has coached at the elementary, middle, and high school level.
In his spare time, Hawk enjoys spending time with his wife and two young daughters.
Robert St. John
Robert St. John has been at Ridgewood High School his entire career. He began teaching in the Social Studies Department for 13 years and has been the Athletic Director for the past ten years.
He received a Bachelor of Arts Degree and Masters of Science in Educational Administration Degree both from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb.
In 2010, St. John earned the National Soccer Coaches Association Coach Of the Year Award - Illinois Small School. As well as, the 2016-17 Illinois Athletic Director Association District 2 Athletic Director of The Year Award - 1A/2A.
He coached the Girls Soccer Team at Ridgewood for 13 years and the Boys Soccer Team at Ridgewood for 17 years. In 2010, he was the head coach of the Boys Soccer Team that advanced to the IHSA State Championship. They lost the game, but brought home a State Runner-Up trophy. The students and staff were all part of an incredible showing of school spirit. Almost every student and facility member of the school was in attendance for the State Semifinal match. He is thrilled to be working with the outstanding coaches, athletes, faculty, staff and community members; who together create a sense of community pride and school spirit.
In his free time, St. John loves spending time with his wife and daughter.