Denise Sullivan Huguelet ‘72

The following bio was published in February 2022.

Denise Sullivan Huguelet ‘72 was a special education teacher for more than 30 years, a mother to five, grandmother to 11, and friend to all who met her.

Denise began her career in special education in Orland Park, Illinois, continued in Coral Springs, Florida, and then, upon moving back to Chicago’s south side, continued in the Evergreen Park school district. Her family and past students attest to her energy, passion, and kindness. Time and time again, past students have shared how they wouldn’t be where they are today if not for Denise. She not only helped her students find strategies to learn and overcome their disabilities and meet their academic goals, but cared about their social and emotional well-being, making them feel valued when so many others did not.  

Her son Mike shared, “We traditionally think of accomplishments as titles and awards and bank account amounts… She didn’t look at accomplishments as, ‘I want to obtain this position’ or ‘I need to get this thing to validate my skill set.’ She just served. I think the accomplishments that I’m proud of her for and that she’d be most proud of are the individual student successes… Those were the accomplishments that she would be proud of. In the small moments, she could make somebody feel better and do something that they didn’t think they could do.”

Denise was a staunch supporter of causes close to her heart, including the Mulliganeers and Misericordia, and lived life helping others in small but significant ways. When she retired, she was able to take on a full-time role of “caregiver” for friends and family in need - visiting them in the hospital, driving them to doctor appointments, and so much more. The importance of giving back is a lesson that she and her husband, Mike, instilled upon their five children, who have all followed in her footsteps and pursued careers in which they get to help others: Ginny, a Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner; Mike, a College and Career Readiness Coordinator; Jacques, a Senior Academic Counselor at the University of Minnesota; Maggie, a physical education teacher; and Kevin, an attorney. 

Make a Gift in Honor of Denise Sullivan Huguelet!

Your donation will go towards the Denise Sullivan Huguelet '72 Spirit of Service Scholarship, established by friends and classmates.