Leatrice attended Central School, Sycamore Middle School and graduated from Sycamore High in 1988. During her high school years, she was a member of the orchestra, Future Homemakers of America (FHA), Spanish club and cheerleading for all 4 years.
Tragedy struck the Satterwhite family in February of 1988, Leatrice’s senior year, with the sudden passing of her father. The evening of the funeral was also senior parent night. With her father not being able to be by her side during this memorable night, her brother Eric stepped in and walked with her and her mother to be recognized with all the other senior athletes. The cheerleading squad gave Leatrice a dozen roses and the basketball team wore black socks in remembrance of her father. These acts of kindness have resonated with Leatrice for over 30 years.
She attended Eastern Illinois University and received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Special Education. After 7 years of teaching, she went on to earn a master’s degree in Educational Administration from Roosevelt University as well as an Educational Specialist Degree and Doctorate of Educational Leadership from Northern Illinois University.
She is currently the Director of Specialized Student Services for Elgin U-46, the 2nd largest school district in Illinois. Dr. Satterwhite is responsible for over 5,500 students with special needs and over 1,100 staff. Each day she works collaboratively with parents and colleagues across the district to ensure each student’s individualized needs are met in order to experience academic and social-emotional success.
Seven years ago, Leatrice and her family started the Leonard Eric Satterwhite (LES) scholarship. This scholarship has been awarded to 11 Sycamore High School Seniors since its inception. What makes this award unique is that the money that started this scholarship came from the citizens of Sycamore through a memorial fund established when her brother passed away unexpectedly in 2007.
“I am truly honored and humbled to accept the 2019 SHS Distinguished Alumni Award and to join past recipients of great achievement and success. We all share the same common denominator which is the wonderful experiences and support we received from the great citizens of Sycamore. I am grateful for the opportunity to be raised in an environment that is nurturing and caring and with people who genuinely care about you. Take advantage of the many opportunities offered in Sycamore. You never know what road to success these possibilities may lead you down. My professional and personal achievement and service to others was inspired by my upbringing in Sycamore. “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me (Philippians 4:13)” is the scripture that guides me every day. I hope I have brought honor to our incredible alma mater…. SYCO High!”