Deignan, Mary

Mary Therese Deignan
Special Education Teacher
1946 - 2003

Mary Therese Deignan was born in 1946 of immigrant parents from Ireland. Mary spent her childhood years on the west side of Chicago and graduated from Immaculata High School in 1964. She earned two masters degrees in special education following her graduation from Northeastern Illinois University in 1967. Placing great value on education and particularly for those with learning challenges, Mary began her career as a special education teacher at the Chicago Public School's Morton Career Academy on the near west side. Mary began her career at New Trier in 1971, where she taught until the time of her death. Mary derived great joy not only in teaching students to learn, but teaching young people to succeed. Mary Therese was a loving and unconditionally supportive daughter and sister to her six siblings and their families. Mary Therese chose teaching as a career, but it was her calling. She gave to each and every student not only her expertise and knowledge, but nurtured in each of them the love and the drive to accomplish whatever they chose to do. This was her greatest gift. She was never happier than when in the classroom instructing, encouraging and guiding. While small in stature, Mary Therese Deignan had a large and enduring impact on students, family, and those who knew and loved her.