KUSD Generations: Family footsteps

Group photo of Rachael, Debbie, Shirley and Sarah standing in a library.

Most of us have someone in our lives who helped shape who we are and guided us toward the paths we’ve taken. There’s a story behind why we do the jobs we do, and what has inspired us to continue doing it for years to come. For many in Kenosha Unified, those stories have ultimately connected them to the district for generations.

Rachael Malsack found inspiration in the field of education as a child. Growing up, she made fond memories spending part of her summer vacations helping teachers get the schools ready for a new year.

Rachael’s mother, Debbie, has worked for KUSD for more than 30 years and is currently the administrative specialist at Prairie Lane Elementary School. In 1979, Debbie’s mother, Shirley Marlotty, started working for the district as a secretary at the senior center and retired in 1998 as a library assistant at McKinley Junior High. New to the KUSD family this year is Rachael’s cousin Sarah DelToro, a special education assistant at EBSOLA.

“Kenosha Unified has always held a special place in my family’s heart because we believe in the importance of public education,” Rachael said. “Each one of us has enjoyed our positions for several reasons, but all have the common goal of building successful futures for youth, which our family has supported with a combined 52 years in the district.”

When Debbie was hired at Prairie Lane, where her mother also worked, a deeper bond came with the new beginning.

“It’s kind of like a complete circle,” Debbie said. “It’s a neat connection, and it feels like it just fits.”

“I’m really happy I worked for Unified because I really loved my job,” Shirley said. “I just feel like I did the right thing, and I’m glad my family enjoys it, too. It makes me proud.”

Debbie’s passion for KUSD families inspired Rachael to start in the district in 2017. She now works in the Reuther guidance office.

While they’ve each had different roles in KUSD, they all shared one standout reason for why they do the work they do – the love for children.

“We’ve all gotten the chance to build relationships in our roles and the bond with the kids is what keeps you coming back,” Debbie said.

When she first started with KUSD, Debbie recalls calling her mom for help and advice, something that both Rachael and Sarah have since relied on Debbie for.

“It’s nice to come home and be able to talk to people about what you are giving a piece of your heart to every day,” DelToro said. “Some people don’t get it, so it’s nice to have people close to you who do.”

As their generations continue to impact the district, they hope to leave positive impacts on the lives they touch, both for the students and the staff they are surrounded by each day.

“I just hope to leave the same legacy and impact as those who inspired me and helped guide me here,” DelToro said.