Christopher J. Lilly grew up on Finley Avenue with his parents and his sister Marjie. He attended Rhodes Elementary School and Holy Cross High School before going to DePaul University. Chris subsequently went on to earn an M.Ed. in Human Development and Learning through DePaul’s partnership with the Chicago Psychoanalytic Institute and a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Concordia University.
While working as a janitor at Rhodes, he double-majored in English and Secondary Education, leading him to earn his professional educator’s license and first job at Holy Cross before being hired at Leyden High Schools, District 212, as a teacher and coach. After 20 years of teaching/department chair work at the high school level, Chris moved on to teach at Concordia University Chicago where he is currently employed as the Assistant Dean of the College of Business. He is the author of a book on literacy coaching and numerous articles in peer-reviewed educational journals which he has presented at several national and international educational conferences.
Chris started out serving River Grove in the Youth Government program (1984), as a little league and softball umpire (1988-92), then became Recreation Director (2005-6), and most recently served as a River Grove Fire and Police Commissioner (2017-19). He has been a member of the River Grove Lions Club since 2004 and is a lifelong member of St. Cyprian Church. He has also served on the Boards of Education for Rhodes, St. Cyprian, Guerin College Prep, and the Catalyst Schools in Chicago.
Chris and Tina Lilly have been married since 1994 and have raised three children in River Grove: Joe (Program Supervisor for the Park District of Oak Park), Matt (Personal Trainor at Fitness Formula Club, West Loop), and Samantha (Loyola University). His mother, Connie, is retired and still lives in the house on Finley Ave. where she happily counts many neighbors as old friends.