D211 Post: Four Students Listed in Latest Round of National Merit Scholarships

            On June 6, four students from Township High School District 211 were included in the third round of National Merit Scholarships.  In the latest round, the scholarships are financed U.S. colleges and universities.  Each recipient was selected by officials from the various educational institutions.  The recipients will receive between $500 and $2,000 annually for up to four years of undergraduate study at the institution financing the scholarship.

            The students from across District 211 listed in the announcement are:


Megha Ramanathan

            Megha Ramanathan is a 2018 graduate of Hoffman Estates High School who will attend Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, where she intends to study computer science.


Nicholas L. Parekh

            Nicholas L. Parekh is a 2018 graduate of William Fremd High School.  He will be attending Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, where he will study medicine.

Kailey G. Henson

                       Kailey G. Henson is a 2018 graduate of William Fremd High School.  She will attend the University of Alabama where she will study mechanical engineering.


         Edward W. Li           

            Edward W. Li is a 2018 graduate of William Fremd High School who will be attending the University of Chicago.  Edward will study economics at U-Chicago.

D211 Post: New head boys soccer coach for the Hawks

            Sean Armstrong has been named head boys soccer coach at Hoffman Estates High School.  Armstrong takes over the program from Matt Sriver, who stepped down earlier this year after 14 years as the Hawks head coach and a 70-146-23 record.

          “We couldn’t be happier with the selection of Coach Armstrong to lead our boys soccer program,” said Hoffman Estates High School Principal Josh Schumacher“Sean’s student-centered and a quality person.  He’s the kind of person you’d want working with not only your student-athletes on the field, but your students in the classroom as well.”

           Armstrong has 18 years of coaching experience on the soccer field, including the past 16 years as the Hawks’ assistant coach.  He came to Hoffman Estates High School in 2002, spending seven years as the freshman A boys soccer coach before moving into the boys junior varsity position for the past nine years.  Armstrong has also served as the assistant tennis coach at HEHS for nine seasons, as well as coaching boys basketball for a year at the school.  Prior to his tenure at HEHS, he spent two years at West Chicago Community High School (1997-1999), two years at Gifford Street Alternative High School in Elgin (1999-2001), and a year at Elgin Larkin High School (2001-2002).

           “We are very excited to have Coach Armstrong take over the boys soccer program at HEHS” said Hoffman Estates High School Athletic Director Steve Lacni.  “Having spent many years as an assistant coach here, he’s familiar with our student-athletes and our parents.  It’s exciting to see him get the opportunity now to see where he can take our program.”

            Armstrong earned a bachelor of science degree in finance from the University of Illinois (1994), and then earned a second bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, in history from Northern Illinois University (1997).  He received his master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Olivet Nazarene University (2005).  Armstrong was a 1990 graduate of Schaumburg High School, where he was a four-year soccer player.

D211 Post: District 211 Schools Claim Two of Top Three Girls Bowling Titles

Members of the Hoffman Estates High School Girls Bowling team, head coach Dan Pfligler, and principal Josh Schumacher pose with the state runner-up trophy during an assembly honoring the girls’ achievement.

            Hoffman Estates and Schaumburg High Schools’ girls bowling teams captured second and third place following the Illinois High School Association’s state bowling finals in Rockford Feb. 16-17.

            Hoffman Estates took second place with a team average of 194.9 and finished just 419 pins behind state champion Harlem High School.  Senior Alexis Orwat finished 4th overall with a series average of 212.3

Hoffman Estates High School senior Allura Magsino sprays blue hair dye on bowling coach Dan Pfligler during an assembly honoring the team’s second place finish in the state bowling championship.

            The Hawks bowlers were honored with an assembly at the school Feb. 20, where the girls painted head coach Dan Pfligler’s hair blue and presented the trophy to principal Josh Schumacher.

            The Schaumburg girls captured the third-place trophy with a team average of 194.1 finishing only 45 pins behind their fellow District 211 team.  Junior Kylie Frick led the Saxons with an average of 209.7.  Frick’s average gave her a 7th place overall finish.

Members of the Schaumburg High School Girls Bowling team pose with the IHSA third place trophy.

D211 Post: Hoffman Estates Alumnae Selected for Team USA Bowling

            When Sarah Wille, a 2014 graduate of Hoffman Estates High School was a small child, her grandmother gave her a bowling ball.  That gift set her on a path which has included multiple competitions, try-outs, state playoffs, championships, even a visit to the White House.  Now Willie can add Team USA member to the list.

            Wille was named to the Team USA Women’s bowling team following tryouts earlier this year.  She said when she heard her name called she was shocked.

            “I thought about all of the people I was trying out against,” she said.  “I didn’t think I was going to make it this time.  When they called me, I cried because I was so happy.”

            Wille was a four-year varsity letter recipient during her time with the Hawks, including a senior season which saw the team place third in state.  Coach Dan Pfligler said Wille was a player with a “team first,” mentality.

            “She was a pleasure to coach as she never complained about anything,” Pfligler said.  “She’s a bowler that a coach wishes you had a whole team of.”

            After graduating from Wille went on to play at McKendree College under coach Shannon O’Keefe.  Earlier this year McKendree won the NCAA National Bowling Championship. 

            O’Keefe  said when Wille graduates, the team will miss her.

            “Sarah brings a never quite attitude and a silliness that can lighten any mood,” O’Keefe said.  “The team is going to miss her when she graduates.”

            O’Keefe, also a member of Team USA said she is looking forward to working with Wille as a teammate.

            “Sarah is a phenomenal player, with a work ethic like I’ve never seen,” O’Keefe said.  “She is a true leader in our collegiate team, and I’m so proud that I also get to now call her a teammate on Team USA!”

            Wille said with the transition to Team USA she is looking forward to the new experiences. 

            “I am looking forward to bowling with the greatest in the world,” Wille said.  “All these women are a real inspiration.”

            With this announcement, Wille will attend a training camp in Texas later this year. 

D211 Post: Mark Your Calendars: Schools to Host Community Halloween Activities

Schools throughout District 211 are planning their annual community Halloween activities. 

            The festivities begin on Oct. 24, when the Higgins Education Center will host a “Trunk or Treat,” from 4:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. The community is invited to enjoy treats, activities and learn about various programs and services offered by Partners for Our Community.

Fremd High School’s Student Council will host its annual Halloween Festival at the school Wednesday Oct. 26, from 4:30-6:00 p.m.  Students invite children 12 and under to trick-or-treat through the transformed halls.  Fremd High School participates in the Teal Pumpkin project which offers non-food prizes for trick-or-treaters with food allergies. 

            Those wishing to attend the event are asked to bring a canned food item to donate in lieu of an admission fee.  All food collected will be donated to the Palatine Township Food Pantry.  Attendees should enter the school through the main entrance by the flagpole. 

            The following evening Hoffman Estates High School will be hosting a community Halloween event.  During the event, children can trick-or-treat through the halls, tour a not-so-spooky haunted house, play games, and create crafts.  This event is open to children from pre-school through 10 years of age.  Due to expected crowds, the school asks parents to leave strollers in their vehicles. 

            That same evening, Palatine High School will be hosting their Trick-or-Treat Festival from 5 p.m. until 6:30 p.m.  Clubs and organizations from the school will decorate the halls and provide scary and not-so-scary rooms, as well as games and activities.  Palatine’s festival is open to children 10 and under.

D211 Post: District 211 Joins Sprint’s 1Million Project


Joanna Avalos, a senior at Palatine High School, completes a survey before receiving a wireless hotspot from Sprint as part of the 1 Million Project. Township High School District 211 paired with Sprint in the project which provides free wireless internet to high school students.


            Students within Township High School District 211 will have easier access to the internet to complete web-based homework after the District partnered with Sprint in its 1Million Project. The project provides qualifying students a free wireless hotspot from the Sprint Foundation, with an unlimited data package from Sprint, enabling them access they might not otherwise have.

            “This generous program will be a game-changer for our students,” said Dr. Daniel Cates, District 211 superintendent. “Since we began the one-to-one program, we have been mindful of students who did not have regular, reliable internet access.”

            For some students, it will reduce the number of hours they have to remain after school to work on assignments.

            “I will usually stay here until 6:00 p.m.,” said Priyanshu Bahadur, a sophomore at Palatine High School. “If I cannot stay, then I have to come in early the next day to finish.”

            With this device, Priyanshu said he would be able to spend more non-school hours at home with family.


Rusty Cumings, the assistant principal at Shaumburg High School, discusses the wireless hotspot from Sprint to a student.

            For a student at Schaumburg High School it was time away from school that caused trouble in his ability to do homework. He said when his family is on the road, he cannot access the internet to complete larger assignments. With this device, he will be able to stay on top of his assignments.

            For Palatine High school senior Honoer Okhave this will improve more than just his academic performance.

            “I didn’t have internet at home, so I just wouldn’t do my homework,” said Honoer. “I used to get in trouble a lot.”

            Honoer said he was excited when he saw the letter announcing the new program.

            “I used to wish the school could find a way to get us Internet outside of here,” he said. “This is like a dream come true.”

            Sprint plans to distribute 1million devices to qualifying students during the five-year project. District 211 is one of the first school districts in Chicagoland to participate.

Joanna Avalos, Priyanshu Bahadur, and Honoer Okhavhe, students at Palatine High School, learn how to use their new wireless hotspot.

            “We are both grateful and excited for our students who will benefit because they now have convenient and reliable access to the same universe of information that others have,” said Dr. Cates.           

            The District has distributed 225 devices to students. Each device has built-in content filters, similar to filters that are in-place in school networks. Part of the agreement between Sprint and participating schools is that Sprint will handle all technical issues and trouble shooting with the devices.

            Students who receive a Sprint device will have access to the service for the duration of their high school career.

            Dr. Cates believes this will have a positive impact on students well beyond this school year.

            “Once we can draw upon the impact for our first group of students, we hope that no student in the future has to be limited by a lack of internet access,” he said.


Mr. Mike Alther, an assistant principal at Palatine High School, explains how to use one of the Sprint wireless hotspots.

PHS, CHS Students Win Big at District 211 Business Incubator Pitch Night

Students in High School District 211’s Business Incubator program spent the school year developing business ideas to try to bring them to life with the help of investors.

Six of the best teams from each school’s Business Incubator course were selected to compete at the District Pitch Night for real funding this past May. After planning and preparation, each team presented their business idea to a panel of judges in hopes of being awarded $20,000 in seed money from the District 211 Foundation.

Two teams won this year’s seed money: Green Dirt from Conant High School and Snow and Co. from Palatine High School. Green Dirt also was recently invited to compete at the INCubatoredu National Pitch Competition that will take place at the Loyola Corby Law Center in Chicago this July.

Students enrolled in the Business Incubator class learn what it takes to be an entrepreneur, as well as how to be successful in creating their own product or service. The course covers topics about marketing, human resources, accounting, and the legal aspects of operating a business. When preparing for pitches, students worked not only with their classroom teacher, but also had support from community content experts and mentors. For the teams that did not receive funding, investors encouraged them all to continue pursuing their ideas.

The following teams participated at the District 211 pitch night event:


WINNER: Green Dirt – Conant High School 

Students: Akash Moozhayil, Kunal Mahajan, Stoil Ionov, Rohan Antony, Patryk Barszczuk

Mentor: David Wolff of Wolff’s Fleamarket          

Company overview: GreenDirt is a startup company that addresses the major problem of food waste. We collect scraps from local restaurants, convert to a premium gardening product, vermicompost, which we then sell to local nurseries and garden centers.






WINNER: Snow and Co. – Palatine High School

Students: Alex Brztowski, Katherine Perez, Nemecio Luna, Reil Snow

Mentor: CJ Ritterbusch of Concord Marketing Solutions

Company overview: The Janus Pack is the solution for students who need to charge their electronics while helping students with organizational skills.







Finalist: KickCarrier – Schaumburg High School

Students: Katherine Edeus, Daniel Galovich, Lisette Hurtado, Vincent Kandefer

Mentor: Jon Zaley of Odem Expo

Company overview: KickCarrier is a unique platform where sneakerheads can buy, sell, or trade shoes. If it doesn’t sell, we will buy it!





Finalist: ProjecTapp-Tapp Camp – Conant High School

Students: Eliot Chang, Mitesh Patel, Michael Kim

Mentor: Jim Gallo of Specialty Finishing Group

Company overview: ProjecTapp is a start-up mobile app developer for the private and public sector providing an incubator-type platform that integrates TappCamp, a coding educational and training service. TappCamp educates students in grades 5 – 12 to become app writers and future app developers for ProjecTapp that, in return, adds more innovation and creativity to the mobile app industry.





Finalist: BlissFoot – Fremd High School

Students: Laura Bienek, Aarsh Desai, Hanna Murakami, Luke Schoffstall, Gianfranco Torres

Mentor: Chris Banakis of Acuity Advisory Partners LLC

Company overview: BlissFoot provides competitive long distance runners and other endurance athletes with on-the-go protection against friction, and the resulting irritation, in order to reduce discomfort and enhance performance.





Finalist: InnerMap – Hoffman Estates High School

Students: Chloe Jefferson, Edlawit Zerihun, Errick Delaney

Mentor: Sheila Serafin of RIM Logistics

Company overview: InnerMap will design and create indoor mapping for large public buildings such as malls, airports, and stadiums. The software and app will provide consumers with step by step directions to where they need to go as well as allow retailers in the buildings to push advertising and promotions to potential customers nearby.