Allyson Adams has been in the counseling profession for over 20 years working primarily with adolescents. Allyson started her career in Social Services working in specialized foster care. She is currently a high school counselor at Maine West High School and works with a diverse population of students that includes a student body of 40% low income, nearly 40% Hispanic, many of which are first generation, and many other first-generation students with various backgrounds, including African-American, Polish, Indian and Middle Eastern students.
Allyson is the sponsor for the Indian Student Association, Dream Team African-American Club, West Side Spirit Club and the Gay Straight Alliance. She created a LGBTQ support group, called Alphabet Soup, when she began in the district 11 years ago. In addition, Allyson, along with two other colleagues, started the Dream Team African-American Student Academic Success Team which has transitioned into the ASCEND group. The students participating in this group were trained to be mentors to freshman African-American students. The ASCEND group now promotes academic success and providing African-American students the supports to be in accelerated and AP courses.
Additionally, Allyson runs various social-emotional groups at Maine West including Social-Emotional Well-Being Group (Depression Group), Grief and Loss and a Diabetes Group. Throughout the school year and each summer, she visits various colleges so that she can better assist her students with the college process and scholarship opportunities that may be available to them. Outside of Maine West High School, Allyson served as the President of the Illinois Counseling Association (ICA) Northwest Suburban Chapter. She currently is on the board for the Illinois School Counselor Association and has been an 8-year board member of Mental Health America of the North Shore (MHANS) where she is the co-facilitator and co-founder of the MHANS Youth Advisory Board.
Cristina began her career in education 26 years ago at Walt Disney Magnet School on the north side of Chicago. She began working as a bilingual teacher and served as a unit leader and an active member of the school community. In 2001, she decided to enroll in the School Psychology program at Loyola University. Upon graduation she was offered a position at Maine West High School as a school psychologist, where she has worked for the last 14 years.
In 2019, Cristina decided to take on the challenge of being a Dean and is currently serving in that role. The new role has provided her with the opportunity to work with students in many capacities and to use her skills and expertise as a psychologist to serve the students and families of Maine West.
Cristina is passionate about her work and currently serves as a Board Member of Mental Health America of the North Shore. As a Board Member, she created with her colleague Allyson Adams a Mental Health Youth Advisory Board, which currently has members from six north suburban high schools and promotes mental wellness for teens.
Cristina was born and raised on the north side of Chicago. As teenagers, both of her parents emigrated to the United States from Cuba in the early 1960s. She was raised by her mother, Marta, who instilled in her a passion and love for working with others and serving the community. Her grandparents spoke Spanish to her growing up and Cristina credits her language skills to them. Cristina is currently enrolled as an Ed.D student at Loyola in School Psychology and is completing her certification in School Administration.