Illinois 4-H team grows with addition of two new educators

URBANA, Ill. –  From supporting businesses through difficult times to helping youth explore, learn, and grow, University of Illinois Extension staff are dedicated to meeting the needs of communities around the state.

Illinois Extension and 4-H recently welcomed Katie Buckley and Beth Dellatori to its statewide network of youth development educators who provide evidence-based hands-on learning programs to youth to help them explore opportunities and acquire life skills.

Katie Buckley, Youth Development Educator serving McLean County

Katie Buckley comes to Illinois 4-H with 16 years of experience in education with a focus on STEM – science, technology, engineering, and math.

Throughout her career in public education, Buckley has worked with students with special needs. She has developed and funded multi-grade STEM programs, acquiring more than $50,000 in grants and donations. In 2019, Buckley was named the Ag in the Classroom Teacher of the Year. 

Buckley holds a bachelor's degree in special education and a master’s degree in social work from Illinois State University.

“I’m excited to develop youth programming and am looking forward to working with all of the 4-H clubs throughout McLean County,” Buckley says. Buckley is based in the Extension office in Bloomington and can be reached at

Beth Dellatori, Youth Development Educator serving Bureau, LaSalle, Marshall and Putnam Counties

Positive youth development is a passion for Beth Dellatori who has an extensive career in education including 25 years of experience in formal classroom education.

Volunteerism is important for Dellatori. She has served as a volunteer and provided leadership to community volunteer groups. Extension’s mission of reaching all is also core to her theory of supporting volunteers and building a network of partnerships with local schools and organizations.

“Our youth benefit when the whole community works together to reach a common goal,” Dellatori says.

Dellatori holds a bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education with a minor in Linguistics from Illinois State University and a master's degree in Curriculum & Instruction with an interest in Multicultural Education from National Louis University. She holds certificates in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education.

Dellatori is based in the Extension office in Oglesby and can be reached at

Extension educators and specialists connect every county in Illinois with university research through in-person and distance-learning programming and other educational outreach. They work to provide businesses, communities, agricultural producers and families with the practical tools and resources needed to solve problems.

WRITEREmily Steele, Media Communications Coordinator, Illinois Extension

ABOUT EXTENSION: Illinois Extension leads public outreach for University of Illinois by translating research into action plans that allow Illinois families, businesses, and community leaders to solve problems, make informed decisions, and adapt to changes and opportunities.