District 88 Superintendent Dr. Scott Helton died as a result of complications related to Covid-19, School Board President Donna Craft Cain announced last Friday.
News of Helton’s passing comes after he contracted Covid-19 in late October and later suffered a stroke as a result of complications from the disease.
¨His passion and dedication were second to none. He was a tremendous leader, who always put the needs of students first,¨ wrote District 88 Board President Donna Craft Cain in a message to the district. ¨He was laser focused on making sure we connected with and cared for each and every pupil, and he was relentless in his pursuit of accomplishing our mission to work for the continuous improvement of student achievement.¨
Beginning his District 88 career in 2001, Dr. Helton had previously served as principal of Addison Trail High School for 11 years until he was appointed as superintendent of District 88. Since then he worked to improve both Addison Trail and Willowbrook. Helton worked to ensure the school received funding from the state and focused on providing students with opportunities after high school, such as providing opportunities for students to enroll in advanced placement and dual credit classes.
Helton was famous for his dedication to immersing himself in the community, so much so that he would ride the bus with students on the first day of school. ¨I was always impressed by how he seemed to be everywhere. When I would attend an extracurricular event, from sports to music concerts to plays, I would always see him,¨ says business teacher Mr. Maaske, who was a teacher during Dr. Helton’s tenure as AT principal. ¨He always asked and was genuinely interested in my small area of AT. That did not change when he became superintendent of the district.¨
At the Dec. 14 school board meeting the District 88 board held a 45 second moment of silence for Dr. Helton as well as named Dr. Jean Barbanente as Interim Superintendent through June 30. There is also a candlelight vigil is being held on Thursday, Dec.17 at 5 pm via zoom in his memory. Candles can be picked up at Addison Trail High School on Wednesday, Dec. 16 from 1 pm to 3 pm.