District 88 remembers Addison Trail Guidance Department Administrative Assistant

It is with great sadness District 88 shares the news that Addison Trail staff member Vanessa Rocha (pictured above, left and second from left) passed away on Aug. 23 as a result of her battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

Rocha joined the District 88 family in 2013 as an Administrative Assistant to the Willowbrook Guidance Department. She transitioned to Addison Trail in 2022 in the same position.

“Vanessa truly embodied what it means to be an Addison Trail Blazer,” said Jack Andrews, Addison Trail Principal. “Vanessa would warmly welcome in students as they were looking for their counselors, make colleagues laugh and would always make herself available to help when needed. In spite of being diagnosed with ALS, she showed up to work and put forth effort to make it a good day. Her perseverance is something all of us admired and will remember. Those who had the opportunity to know Vanessa will forever be grateful for her smile and laugh.”

Memorial services took place on Sept. 1 and included a procession past Addison Trail, where staff lined the sidewalks as a sign of love and support (pictured above, third from left). Trees and light posts at the school were wrapped in blue ribbon to raise awareness of ALS (pictured above, right).

Rocha is a beloved mother to Alexa and Alessandro and will forever be missed by family, friends and the Addison Trail community. Counseling services are available for students and staff who need assistance during this difficult time.