D211 Post: College Night is October 10

            As part of District 211’s effort to help prepare students for post-high school education, the District will host its annual college night October 10.  The informational event will be held at Palatine High School from 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.

            The representatives from more than 210 two- and four-year colleges and universities will be on hand to answer a variety of questions.  Representatives will discuss financial aid, curriculum and campus information.            

            In some cases, parents and students do not have the ability to visit a large number of colleges and universities in order to make a choice which best fits the student.  The District’s College Night brings the colleges and universities to them.  In preparation for College Night, students are encouraged to register with Strivscan and create a label sheet which includes information such as home address, high school, GPA, ACT scores, and activity involvement.  Students can register with StriveScan by going to here.

            District 211 Transportation will provide free shuttle services from other District schools to Palatine.  Parents are encouraged to sign up for this service as parking at Palatine High School is limited.  Parents and students can sign up for the shuttle service here.

D211 Post: A Score of Perfect Scores

Fifteen students from William Fremd High School are among the students throughout District 211 to score perfect scores on either the ACT or SAT.

          Township High School District 211 began tracking students who received the highest possible composite score on the American College Test (ACT) in April 1998.  Since then, nearly 120 District 211 students have completed the same amazing feat.  During the same time, 12 students have achieved a perfect score on the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT).  Here are some facts by the numbers of these amazing feats:

A Case of Multiples 

            Eight students have received a score of 36 on their ACT exam twice.  Half of the students who scored a 1600 (maximum possible score) on the SAT have also scored a 36 on the ACT.  Only one student, Fremd High School’s Parag Gupta, earned a perfect SAT score and two perfect ACT scores, accomplishing these scores in 2003.

They Come from Everywhere

            Every school from across District 211 has had students who reached the vaunted 36.  At least one student from each school has also achieved the perfect 1600 SAT score.  The most represented school in both of these is Fremd High School.  Fifteen current FHS students are among the list of perfect scores on either the ACT or SAT, including Duncan Harro, whose brother, Cameron, also scored a 36 on the ACT in 2014.

            At the national level, less than one-tenth of one percent of all students who take the ACT exam score a 36.  To see the full list of District students to score a 36 on the ACT click here, for those who have scored a 1600 on the SAT click here.

D211 Post: High School District 211 to be represented among I.S.B.E. 2018 Those Who Excel award recipients

Township High School District 211 is poised to be well-represented among recipients in the Illinois State Board of Education’s 2018 Those Who Excel education awards program.  Additionally, Fremd High School Social Studies Teacher Dr. LoriAnne Frieri has been named among the 10 finalists for Illinois Teacher of the Year.  The State Board annually sponsors the Those Who Excel awards to honor individuals who have made significant contributions to the state’s public and non-public schools.

High School District 211 Those Who Excel award candidates include (listed alphabetically):

• Board of Education President Mucia Burke (school board member category)

• Schaumburg High School Student Services Director Yassila Delgado (administrator category)

• William Fremd High School Social Studies Teacher LoriAnne Frieri (classroom teacher category)

• Palatine High School Homeroom Team (team category): Jessica Aulisio, Brittany Berleman, Jeanne Hedgepeth, Erin Lu-zadder, Erin Mahoney, Thomas Mocon, James Nowak, Fred Rasmussen, Joyce Richardson, Leslie Schock, and Claudia Sierra-Sokop

• Palatine High School Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher Emily Pilguy (early career educator category)

• James B. Conant High School Nurse Dawna Smeltzer (student support personnel category)

• Hoffman Estates High School Counselor Andrew Wulbecker (educational service personnel category)

The Illinois Teacher of the Year will be named and Those Who Excel award recipients will be honored by the Illinois State Board of Education at the 44th-annual Those Who Excel awards banquet on Saturday, October 20, in Normal, Ill.

D211 Post: Two District 211 Teachers Named AGS Geography Teacher Fellows

           Advanced Placement Human Geography Teachers Dr. LoriAnne Frieri, from William Fremd High School, and Mrs. Samantha Serrano, from James B. Conant High School, are two of only 50 teachers from across the United States chosen as 2018 American Geographical Society (AGS) Geography Teacher Fellows.  This is the third year of the initiative which has been bade possible by a generous gift from the Boundless Corporation, sponsorship from Mapbox for the Geography Teacher Fellow Mapathon, and support from the AGS Corporate Angels Partners, whose contributions provide resources for teacher professionals development throughout the year. 

Mrs. Samantha Serrano teaches AP Human Geography at James B. Conant High School.

Dr. LoriAnne Frieri teaches AP Human Geography at William Fremd High School.

            As part of the award Frieri and Serrano will have the opportunity to attend the AGS Fall Symposium November 15 & 16, at Columbia

University in New York City.  The symposium provides Teacher Fellows with the opportunity to gain valuable cutting-edge content knowledge and awareness of the real-world geographic workplace skills demanded by today’s geospatial companies.

“We are very pleased to be able to invite Samantha and LoriAnne, who are two of the top geography teachers in the country, to join us in New York City in November,” said Dr. John Konarski, CEO of the American Geographical Society. “AGS Geography Teacher Fellows are an integral part of the AGS community, leading and educating future generations in geography and geospatial science. This year we have focused on expanding activities that reinforce teachers’ geographical and geospatial knowledge, and will be continuing to provide guidance to teachers seeking to develop projects for their classrooms.”

The American Geographical Society (AGS) is a 21st century learning society dedicated to the advancement of geographic thinking, knowledge, and understanding across business, government, academe, social sectors, and most importantly with teachers and students. Established in 1851, AGS is the oldest professional geographical organization in the United States. It is recognized worldwide as a pioneer in geographical research and education for over 166 years. The mission of AGS is to advance and promote geography in business, government, science, and education. Our goal is to enhance the nation’s geographic literacy so as to engender sound public policy, national security, and human well-being worldwide.  AGS seeks to engage the American public, from its youngest to its oldest citizens, with new and amazing ways to understand and characterize our changing world. The Society maintains its headquarters in New York City.

D211 Post: Conant Baseball Coach and Wife Save Driver from Roll-over Crash

            James B. Conant High School Math Department Chair and Baseball Coach Derek Fivelson spent part of his summer coaching his son’s youth baseball team.  While traveling with his family to a state tournament in Freeport on August 3, Fivelson witnessed an automobile crash into a retention pond near the intersection of I-90 and Illinois Route 47 in Huntley, Ill.

            “Suddenly getting to a baseball game in Freeport didn’t seem so important,” he said.

            Fivelson pulled his car over and ran to the retention pond where the car had landed upside down.  He, and a small team of strangers, plunged into the murky water in an attempt to pull any occupants of the vehicle to safety.  He said the group managed to pull the driver from the vehicle, and at that point, the driver was not breathing.  The group carried her to the shore where Fivelson’s wife, Molly, began performing CPR.

            Fivelson said while his wife was performing CPR, he and the others went back into the water in fear that there were other occupants in the car.  After searching, it was discovered that the driver was the only person in the vehicle.

James B. Conant High School Math Department Chair Derek Fivelson describes his actions which aided in saving a woman from an automobile crash which occurred August 3.

            Molly’s work performing CPR ultimately aided in reviving the driver.  Derek said Molly initially learned CPR while working as a lifeguard in high school.

            “It just goes to show that you never know when you’re going to need something you learned in high school,” Derek said.  “She learned CPR 20 years ago, and never had to use it until that day.”

            He added that he stopped to help because he felt it was the right thing to do.  He said that if there was one lesson for his students, it was about the determination of strangers.

            “We were simply a bunch of strangers from a number of backgrounds working together with one goal, to keep this woman alive,” he said.

            The driver of the vehicle is home from the hospital, and she expected to make a full recovery.  Derek and Molly were honored by the High School District 211 Board of Education for their actions at its meeting on August 16.

Derek and Molly Fivelson with their three children pose together at the Township High School District 211 Board of Education Meeting August 16.

D211 Post: District Students Intern in Medical Field

William Fremd Junior Amborzia Itellari, Dr. Dave Brottman, and James B. Conant Senior Kimi Nijjar pose together after Itellari and Nijjar completed a 3-week internship at Arlington Pediatrics.

            James B. Conant High School Senior Kimi Nijjar and William Fremd Junior Ambrozia Itellari had the opportunity to sample the medical field when they participated in a three-week internship program with Arlington Pediatrics in Arlington Heights, Illinois.

            Dr. Dave Brottman said the program’s goal was to expose the students to the overall operations of a medical office.  During the program the students not only shadowed nurses and doctors, but also worked with administrative staff.

            “We wanted to treat them not as high school students or college students, but as medical students,” said Brottman.  “They really rose to the challenge.”

            At the conclusion of the program, each student was asked to give a short presentation on a pediatric illness of their choice.  Both students chose an illness they had personally dealt with. 

            Brottman said he developed the idea after having 17 students intern at his office for 1 to 3 days.  He felt that the time was too short to give students an adequate view of the medical profession.

            For Nijjar, the internship puts her a little closer to a childhood dream.

James B. Conant Senior Kimi Nijjar delivers a presentation to a panel of doctors, nurses and staff at Arlington Pediatrics at the conclusion of her 3-week internship.

            “I have known since I was 9-years-old that I want to be a doctor,” she said.  “When I found out there was an internship program like this, I applied right away.”

            Nijjar said meeting the patients was a highlight of the internship.

            Itellari said learning how to prepare vaccinations was her favorite part.

            “It’s a lot harder than I thought it would be,” she said. 

            She said she, like Nijjar, has a great interest in pursuing a medical career.

William Fremd High School Junior Ambrozia Itellari delivers a presentation on Intermittent Exotropia at the end of her 3-week internship at Arlington Pediatrics.

            “It’s very valuable to get to learn how to prepare vaccines and take vital signs,” she said.  “This is like an introductory course that will help with applying to college and medical school.”

            Both students agreed that any student throughout District 211 who may have an interest in the medical field should look for internships such as this as a way to prepare for their future.

D211 Post: Coach Shows Toughness in the Face of Adversity

Drew Shulman, who was born without a left hand, was a four-year, three-sport athlete at Elk Grove High School. He is now the girls’ sophomore basketball coach at Conant.


This article was submitted by Conant Crier staff writer Isaac Goffin.  The Crier is the student newspaper of James B. Conant High School.  To read the original article or more from the Crier, click here.

Due to a congenital birth defect, head sophomore girls’ basketball coach Drew Shulman couldn’t tie his shoes until the fourth grade. The defect, which caused Shulman to be born without a left hand, never frustrated the once three-sport athlete from Elk Grove High School. As an athlete, Shulman made a difference to his team through his leadership, and still does today as a coach, according to his colleagues and players.

Shulman got into sports because of his parents. “They pushed soccer at the beginning. I loved it. I loved the competitive nature, and it just grew from there,” he said. Shulman then started playing baseball and basketball and was allowed to play football starting in middle school.

He had to make his own adjustments to play with everyone else. In baseball, he played like former MLB player Jim Abbott, who was born without a right hand. Shulman caught and threw with the same hand by taking his glove off in the process. In basketball he would have to drive to the right hand side.

“I didn’t know any different, so there was no coping needed. I learned everything as everyone else did,” Shulman said. He added he had to learn skills a little slower, but knew he would always learn them.

“Just like everyone else, you learn to adapt, you learn to use what you’re given,” Shulman said.

This philosophy served him well one day at basketball practice when his varsity coach, Steve Messer, told his team that if they couldn’t drive to the left side of the basket with their left hand, they would be off the team. He asked each player on the team to demonstrate.

Messer said, “I wasn’t thinking about Drew when I said it. So Drew comes up right to the rim and pushes it off his thumb right into the basket. He didn’t complain; he didn’t make a big deal. He just pushed it off his thumb, and it went in.”

Shulman played football, basketball, and baseball all four years in high school. He was named Inspirational Athlete of the Year at the FOX Sports Net Sports Awards in Chicago in 2000. At the event, Shulman said, he met many famous Chicago sports figures, including former Bears quarterback Jim McMahon.

Messer didn’t think Shulman was going to make the varsity basketball team as a junior. But Shulman’s competitive instinct, his work ethic, and his knowledge of the game got him on the team. Messer was impressed not only with how Shulman accommodated his disability, but also with his speed.

Even though Shulman was able to make up for his disadvantages, it never led to him being a star player in terms of statistics. Instead, Shulman made a difference for his teams through his leadership.

Messer said, “A couple of times we had struggled a little bit, and I would be talking to the coaches. We were ready for a pre-game speech and I walked in and he was talking to them about his own version of what needs to happen. He would do it in the right way, too, so the kids were having fun and laughing. But there was something positive and instructional of what he said as well. He did that. I didn’t tell him.”

Messer added that when you tell most kids to be a leader, they just yell at the team. Instead, they need to provide them a shot of energy, which Shulman did while giving his team advice.

Shulman said, “I am always very competitive, and I usually knew what needed to be done, so I passed that information to my team. Is that being a leader? Sure, not in the usual sense of dominating a game. I was more of a vocal leader: give me the ball and ‘follow me’ leader.”

Messer also said Shulman was always confident in himself and didn’t allow his disability to get in the way.

“He never thought he couldn’t do it. You’ll have to ask him if there were times where he had self-doubt and felt like he couldn’t do something. I never saw it. I worked with the kid for two years, and I never saw it somehow. I never saw a lack of confidence,” Messer said.

Shulman said, “I always had confidence in my success, both as a team and as a teammate.”

Shulman went to Carroll University to play basketball but stepped away from the game after he had his first daughter, Hannah, in 2001. Hannah is now a junior at Conant and plays on the basketball team. Shulman went on to finish his degree in mathematics and completed his PhD in mathematics in 2011 at the University of Illinois-Chicago. He has been teaching there as a lecturer ever since.

Shulman said he loves his schedule. He teaches only in the morning, which allows him the time to coach girls’ basketball. He started coaching at Conant in 2009 as a freshman boys’ assistant. He then moved to the girls’ basketball program in 2011 as the freshman head coach and then to his current position in 2013.

Shulman’s colleagues also consider him a strong leader.

“I think the thing the stands out most with coach Shulman is how hardworking he is. It is easy to follow him as a leader because you know he is putting in the time to get better himself. He is vocal but will listen to your opinion and take it into account. These attributes make him a strong leader,” assistant girls’ basketball coach Todd Strauch said.

For the past three years, Shulman has had the fortune to have his daughter Hannah play basketball at Conant. Just like her father, Hannah is also a three-sport athlete.

Hannah said, “He can talk to us so well, and he’s so inspiring. I think we all learn from him. I know my friends say they really enjoyed him as a coach, even though he’s hard on us.”

Shulman has three more kids coming through Conant in the future: Marissa, age 10, Julia, age 7, and Matthew, who is 15 months old.

For his future, Shulman said he will continue to help grow girls’ basketball, which has seen their numbers grow, especially in the feeder program.

Strauch said, “Shulman is a great coach, athlete, and friend that doesn’t let anything stop him from reaching his best.”