FHS Boys Varsity Basketball Team Places 4th Place in IHSA State Tournament

Fremd High School hosted a rally earlier this week to celebrate the Varsity Boys Basketball Team placing 4th in the IHSA State Tournament. During the rally, seniors on the team competed against staff members in a short basketball game. View photos of the rally below.

The team poses with the state trophy after a school rally to celebrate the team’s success.

Team captains present Principal Kurt Tenopir with the state trophy.

Seniors on the team take on staff members during a friendly basketball game during the rally.

Seniors on the team take on staff members during a friendly basketball game during the rally.

FHS celebrated the team’s 4th place finish in the state tournament during a rally earlier this week.

Seniors on the team take on staff members during a friendly basketball game during the rally.

Seniors played a quick basketball game against staff members during the rally.

Highlights from the season were shown during the rally.

Saxons Name New Head Girls Volleyball Coach

Tim Murphy has been named as the new head girls volleyball coach at Schaumburg High School, effective with the 2017 season.

Tim Murphy has been named as the new head girls volleyball coach at Schaumburg High School, effective with the 2017 season.  Murphy will replace retiring coach Jeanette Pancratz, who has coached at Schaumburg High School for the past 27 years of her 36-year career as a teacher and coach.  During her tenure at SHS, Pancratz amassed 824 total career wins, making her one of the top-15, all-time winningest girls volleyball coaches in Illinois. 

“Coach Pancratz has positively impacted and shaped the girls volleyball program into what it is today through her expertise, passion, and dedication,” said Schaumburg High School Principal Tim Little.  “While she will certainly be missed, we are thrilled to have Coach Murphy take over the program.  His coaching experience, energy, and enthusiasm will undoubtedly help our team achieve continued success in the future.” 
In addition to coaching volleyball, Murphy will teach physical education at Schaumburg High School beginning in the fall of 2017.  Murphy has served as head boys volleyball coach at Lake Park High School since 2011, as well as head JV girls volleyball coach since 2012.  While at Lake Park High School, he coached five state qualifying “Sweet 16” squads, including four “Elite 8” teams and one “Final 4” team.  Prior to that, he was head boys volleyball head coach at Addison Trail High School in 2009, while also serving as the school’s head JV girls volleyball coach (2005-2012) and head JV boys volleyball coach (2005-2011).  Currently, Murphy is co-director, tournament director, and head coach for SYNC Volleyball in Schaumburg, Ill.
Murphy earned a bachelor of arts degree in physical education (K-12) from Northeastern Illinois University in 2012, with a minor in health education.  He also earned an associate in arts degree from Harper College in 2007.

Pirates Announce New Head Wrestling Coach

Jeff Keske has been named head varsity wrestling coach at Palatine High School, effective with the 2017-2018 season.

Jeff Keske has been named head varsity wrestling coach at Palatine High School, effective with the 2017-2018 season.  Keske will take over head coaching responsibilities from Dan Collins, who is stepping down after 13 years at the head of the Pirates wrestling program. 

“We are thrilled that Coach Keske will be leading our wrestling team,” said Palatine High School Principal Gary Steiger.  “Coach Keske has an enormous amount of energy and enthusiasm to share with our student-athletes.  He is well-respected by the wrestling community and knows what it takes to lead a team.  He will be a great addition to the Palatine High School athletic program.”

Currently, Keske is head freshman wrestling coach at Hoffman Estates High School, a position he has held since 2015.  He also serves as the school’s sophomore baseball coach, while teaching physical education at Fremd High School.  Previously, he taught physical education at Hoffman Estates High School from August 2015 through January 2017, and was the school’s head freshman baseball coach from 2015-2016.  Keske also taught physical education at Schaumburg High School from August 2016 through January 2017. 

During his time as the Hawks’ head freshman wrestling coach, his team recorded a third-place finish in the Mid-Suburban League Conference Tournament, as well as winning the Mather High School (Chicago) Freshmen Tournament and placing second at the Elgin Larkin Tournament.  Prior to coming to District 211, Keske was assistant varsity wrestling coach at his alma mater, Libertyville High School, from 2013-2015.  From 2012-2013, he served as assistant varsity wrestling coach at Warren Township High School (Gurnee, Ill.). From 2011-2013, Keske was a Libertyville Youth wrestling coach and a volunteer football, wrestling, and baseball coach at Vernon Hills High School. 

Keske earned his bachelor of science degree in physical education (K-12) with minor degrees in health education and driver education from Northeastern Illinois University in 2015.  He was a collegiate wrestler at Augustana College from 2005-2006, leading his team in wins and being named a Division III Top-5 ranked wrestler.  Keske also played varsity baseball at Augustana College from 2005-2006.


PHS Senior Aidan Busch Wins VFW Voice of Democracy Essay Contest

Aidan is pictured (center) with VFW officials after winning at the state level. (From left to right): Brian Duffy, VFW National Commander-in-Chief; Richard Barnes, from Ill. District 4; Aidan; Joseph Wein, from Ill. District 4; and Dave Stout, Commander of the Department of Illinois.

When Palatine High School senior Aidan Busch was looking for ways to help pay for college, he found a scholarship contest that would end up creating opportunities and friendships he never imagined.

Aidan was a winner in the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW) 2017 National Voice of Democracy Program and recipient of the $2,000 Department of Kentucky and Auxiliary Brian Duffy and Marion Watson Scholarship. He won the district and statewide levels of the competition and traveled to Washington D.C. as a finalist for at the national level. He was sponsored by VFW Post 1337 in Mount Prospect, Ill.

“I am honored and humbled at the same time,” Aidan said. “The VFW is a large organization and they do very good work for veterans. To have their endorsement was a very cool thing. It is a huge honor.”

The VFW is a nonprofit veterans service organization comprised of eligible veterans and military service members from the active, guard and reserve forces. The theme of this year’s essay contest was “my responsibility to America.” Aidan had to not only write the essay, but also present the essay in speech format.

“This gave me a better empathy and greater understanding of veterans and what they have contributed and sacrificed for all of us,” Aidan said. “You hear about veterans’ issues on the news or from your neighbor who served, but when you have face-to-face, extended conversations with veterans, it gives you a perspective of how fortunate we are to live where we do.”

Aidan poses with other scholarship recipients on the last night of the Washington D.C. trip.

Aidan said the whole experience was “mind-opening.” He said he had the pleasure of meeting veterans and gaining friendships with people all over the world.

“I now have friends in all 50 states, Bahrain, Germany, and Puerto Rico, which is a cool thing that came out of this experience,” he said. “I have been in contact with them and we might all meet up over the summer, too.”

In the future, Aidan hopes to study political science or international relations. He is in the process of selecting a university. He will be recognized at a District 211 Board of Education Meeting later this year. 

For more information about the VFW contest, please visit the website.



Aidan’s essay is published below:

When I was seven years old, I made my first dollar. I remember less about how I made it and more about being incredibly anxious to spend it. I couldn’t wait to buy something to call my own, a possession that was mine, purchased with my own hard-earned funds. I didn’t realize at the time, however, that not everything can be purchased with a piece of green paper graced with the likeness of George Washington.

Some things can be bought, while others must be paid for. For instance, it’s easy enough to go to the grocery store and buy a loaf of bread. No one denies the fact that it is a simple matter to purchase a hammer and box of nails from the hardware store. One can buy an American flag or star-spangled bunting without too much difficulty. However, some things cannot by purchased with a swipe of a credit card. Some things are not readily accessible in Aisle 4 of the supermarket, between refried beans and Tabasco sauce. Liberty is one of these things. Liberty cannot be placed in a shopping cart, or casually tossed in your trunk to take home. No, Liberty is unique in that you cannot buy it. It is something that has been paid for by others. More specifically, veterans, and those who have laid down their lives in service of freedom. You cannot simply “get” liberty by filling out a mail-order form and putting a stamp on it. People have died, paying the ultimate price, so that I may live and enjoy my liberty. They gave up their opportunity to make choices and live their lives free of worry and persecution so that I, someone who has never known that struggle, may enjoy Liberty.


Patrick Henry is famous for his “Give me Liberty or give me Death” speech. But If I may be so bold, I would revise this statement. I would change it to “Liberty, because of death.” When I say death I don’t mean the sad kind, though death certainly is a melancholy affair. No, I mean sacrifice, the willing substitution of a life, an American life, so that I may live an existence of freedom and Liberty. Those who have paid have missed some of life’s most important moments, not being present for things that seem incomprehensible to miss to the average citizen. Events such as the birth of a child, the death of a parent, a daughter’s graduation, a son’s birthday party, supporting a spouse through an illnesses, teaching their child to throw a football, swing a bat or ride a bike. Missing opportunities to watch that squeaky first fifth grade band concert, or make countless trips to and from the soccer fields. They have missed these major or seemingly minor life opportunities so that I may enjoy them without fear or worry.

This is where I am responsible. Being American is unique in that each and every one of us is standing on ground stained with the blood of patriots. Many of us do not realize that our weekly trip to the grocery store is possible only because those who came before us, and fight for us, have died to make it possible. In some countries, one must kiss the entire family goodbye before leaving the house because they do not know if they will return. In America, we have the relative fortune of forgetting that we do not have these luxuries for free. They have been paid for. It is my responsibility to refuse to take these liberties for granted. It is my responsibility to ensure that every death and every act of service by an American, from March 5, 1770 to the day I die, is not wasted.

I can honor these sacrifices in a very practical way by the way I conduct myself on a daily basis. It is my personal responsibility to use these freedoms afforded to me at such a high price in a responsible manner that reflects the original sacrifice. Everyday opportunities abound, like running ahead to hold the door for a young mother pushing a stroller, or helping an elderly neighbor take out their trash. Removing my hat, placing my hand on my heart and standing tall when the national anthem is played. By putting others first, I am honoring what has already been done for me.

It is my responsibility to act as if I am walking on hallowed ground, every step paid for by the blood of Americans. It is the veterans, and those who have served our dear country in life and death, who deserve our undying gratitude and attention.

My responsibility is to remember. To remember those few, the white, black, Latino, Asian, male, female, and American few, who have given up their liberty, their peace, to give me mine. If we forget the sacrifice of these few, we will become an ungrateful nation incapable of appreciating the true value of our liberty. Because after all, it was not purchased, but paid for.

Essay by Aidan Busch

March 2017 Edition of “Community Connections” Newsletter Available Online

The March 2017 edition of High School District 211’s Community Connections, (en Español) a quarterly update of the District’s Strategic Plan, is now available online. This issue features information on the following, as well as several other articles:
– Advanced Placement enrollment
– Dual Credit expansion
– The Power of 15
– Career Pathways & Career Cruising
– Budget reductions
– Upcoming Community Education sessions
– Swimming pool and media center renovations
– Update on the Student Readiness plan
Similar periodic updates will continue to be provided to our community, covering a range of topics related to the District 211 Strategic Plan. The complete 2016 Strategic Plan is available on the District 211 website. 

Tickets Available for 3rd Annual Conant Community Social

 Join Conant parents, staff and alumni for a casual evening filled with great people and great conversation to celebrate Conant High School and its community.

Tickets are now on sale for the 3rd Annual Conant Community Social. The event is open for individuals 21 years of age and older, and will take place on April 29 at Chandler’s Banquets at the Schaumburg Golf Course.

The night features an appetizer buffet, open bar (beer and wine), dessert, music, a silent auction, and plenty of door prizes. Added this year is an optional Trivia Night contest, where the winners will walk away with a huge cash prize.

The Social is a great night where you can meet other Conant parents, talk with staff, alumni and community members, or just enjoy a night out of music and conversation. There are no raffles and no pressure to donate – just a casual night out.

For more information or questions, please visit the Conant Booster’s website or e-mail conantsocial2017@gmail.com.

FHS Varsity Girls’ Basketball Team Celebrates 4th Place in State Tournament

Fremd High School hosted a rally earlier this week to celebrate the Varsity Girls’ Basketball Team placing 4th in the IHSA State Tournament. During the rally, students competed against each other and staff in various basketball games. View photos of the rally, as well as the state trophy, below.

Principal Kurt Tenopir is presented the state trophy by the team’s captains.

Coach Dave Yates introduces the team at the rally.

Students and staff participated in basketball games for prizes.

The Varsity Girls’ Basketball team poses at a rally to celebrate their success at state.

The FHS varsity girls’ basketball team placed 4th in the IHSA State Tournament.

A highlight reel was played during the rally.