Seldom do mainstream and Special Education students work together in a sporting event.

The Amy Rudolph Basketball Tournament provides a unique opportunity for District 211 students to cheer one another on while raising funds for a worthy cause.

The tournament, in its 37th year, recognizes Amy Rudolph, a special education student, who passed away in November, 1982, of kidney failure. She was only 15 years old. Amy’s love of sports and her outgoing personality inspired those around her. Three months after this popular student passed, the school hosted a sporting event that continues every year in her honor. All profits directly benefit the National Kidney Foundation.

The 37th Annual Amy Rudolph Basketball Tournament will take place 6 p.m., Friday, Feb. 22nd at Hoffman Estates High School, 1100 W. Higgins Rd. Special Education students from Hoffman Estates High, Hersey High, Schaumburg High, Palatine High and Kirk Schools will participate. Mainstream students from Hoffman will also participate as referees, coaches, scorekeepers, and in other capacities.

A successful community event for 30 plus years, this tournament has already raised thousands of dollars for the National Kidney Foundation.

Tickets are $3.00 and are available in advance from HEHS, or at the door.

D211 Post: Speaker Mawi Asgedom Tells PHS Students to Push Their ‘Turbo Button’

Public Speaker and Author Mawi Asgedon discusses the “turbo button,” an idea to push one’s self to work harder toward a goal.


          Public speaker Mawi Asgedom met with students at Palatine High School during an all school assembly January 24.  During his presentation, Asgedom spoke of the difficulties of his early childhood as an Ethiopian refugee through his families settling in the United States and his ultimate graduation from Harvard.

            Counselor Judy Locher worked to bring Asgedom to PHS after hearing speak at the Illinois School Counselor Association Conference.

            “His work really resonated with Palatine High School because of our demographics and our project excel program, which is for first-generation students” she said.  “Just thinking of how aspects of his story parallel with our students, I met with him and we built a connection.”

            Locher said when he agreed to speak with the PHS students she had a “turbo smile.”

            Along with telling his story, he spoke of how each student in the room had their own story, and how their story was something they should be proud of.   He also spoke of how students can approach situations to create what he called can do and not yet circles.

            “These students have a story, and that story matters.  They have the power to make choices to take charge of that story regardless of their background,” he said.  “You look at these kids and know they have challenges just like challenges facing kids all over the country.  I want to give them inspiration, encouragement, and tools they can use to better themselves.”

Palatine High School students gathered in the gym to hear speaker and author Mawi Asgedon on January 24.

            Senior Shamoun Daudi said Asgedom’s speech was an inspiration for more than just self-improvement.

            “I thought it was inspirational on how he is showing we can change ourselves for the better.   I also think it gives a meaning to not only how we see the world but changing how the world sees us,” Daudi said.  “After this, I think I want to do something change myself in a way to better the world around me, but also work to change the world around me in a way to better others.”

            For Junior Steele Reahberger, she felt that if people like Asgedom can overcome his many struggles, then she can as well.

            “I feel that his speech was very motivational.  A lot of aspects spoke directly to me with some of the struggles I have faced lately,” she said.  “I really like the idea of the turbo button.  It tells me that I can always push myself that little more, even if I think I can’t.”

            Asgedom said he was very impressed with the dedication of the staff at Palatine.

            “The level of passion and energy around helping the students of all backgrounds to create bright futures is something I don’t see at a lot of schools,” he said.  “The excel program here is very developed.”

            Locher said that she hopes Asdedom showed all the students learn that they can do anything.

            “It’s not going to be easy.  It’s going to take work,” she said.  “They have to access their resources and reach out for support.  They have to engage that turbo button he talked about.  Mawi never said there was not a ‘can’t do’ circle but rather ‘not yet.’”

D211 Post: POSTPONED District 211 to Host Vaping & E-Cigarette Community Education Session


NOTE: This event has been postponed.  The new date and time are to be determined.  Please check back for updates. 

           Township High School District 211 will host a Community Education Session discussing the dangers of Vaping and E-Cigarettes at Palatine High School January 31, 2019, beginning at 7 p.m.  The session will be available in both English and Spanish, and child care will be available in the school’s media center café.

            Palatine High School Assistant Principal Tony Medina said the session will provide parents with educational information on vaping as well as inform them on the dangers of the habit, and support available for educating their children.

            Medina will present the Spanish session, while a representative from F.A.I.R. Counseling will present in English.

            Community education is important to High School District 211 and involvement will help our schools strengthen the commitment to serve all students. All sessions are open to the public and offered free of charge.  Light refreshments will be available.

D211 Post: Palatine Hosts Seventh Science Olympiad

            Palatine High School held its seventh Science Olympiad November 30.  The event, which was the largest in Illinois, drew approximately 1100 students from 33 schools, including three from Indiana and one from Kentucky.

            Carl Garrison, Palatine High School Science Department chair, was pleased by the large turnout and eagerness of the competitors. 

            “It is wonderful to see so many students wake up early on a Saturday to do Science,” he said.  “So long as students want to do science early on a Saturday, the rest of the PHS coaches (Patrick Rauen, Robert Heitz, and Alex Larson), will continue to provide it.”

            The competing students formed teams of up to 15, of which no more than seven could be seniors.  The teams competed in a variety of different events ranging from astronomy to chemistry and physics.

            Conant High School sophomore Kaylee Kim said she joined her school’s Science Olympiad team because it allowed her to combine her passions for science and music together.

            “I joined because I was really interested in music, and I thought it would be cool to learn more about science through my love of music,” she said.  “When I heard there was a music division where I could use science to build my own instrument, I was very excited.”

            Garrison said the Palatine competition as well as a competition hosted by Conant are great gauges for upcoming state competitions.

            “As a coach, I use these tournaments to help determine who should be in the regional team,” he said.  “We use the results to help us build the strongest team that can get through the Regional and State tournaments.”

D211 Post: District Students Compete in Architecture and Design Competition

            Students from across the District competed against each other in the District 211 Architecture Competition in which they designed an ideal and functional house.  Each entry had to include four bedrooms and two and half bathrooms while being up to 3,500 square feet.  The winning entry, submitted by Palatine High School senior Nelson Bartolo, will be the Building Construction Program house to be built on Berner Road in Elgin next year.

            Work began on each student’s design at the start of the school year.  More than 350 students in participated in designing homes and submitted entries to the competition.  From those, ten entries, 2 from each school, were selected to present to a panel of judges at the G.A. McElroy Administration Center November 9.

            “Students house designs were amazing.  It was obvious that all of the D211 students took their time and did the proper research to create house designs that were appropriate tor the location,” said Palatine High School Applied Science Department Chair Mark Hibner.  “Students followed the guidelines of the project and designed homes that included appropriate construction methods while infusing current interior design trends.”

Palatine High School senior Audrey Birk describes the the plans for a house she designed during a District wide drafting and architecture competition Nov. 9.

            During the finals, each of the ten students stood before a panel of judges which included architects, interior designers, teachers, and contractors.  The student discussed the layout of each room as well as inspirations for various aspects of their unique designs.  For Bartolo, part of the preparation was practicing his presentation repeatedly at home.

            After each student presented their designs to the panel, the judges moved into deliberation to discuss all the designs.  One judge, Mike Rafferty of Rafferty Architecture, has been involved with previous 3 competitions and has seen improvement in the students’ plans.

            “Every year the presentations get better.  The technology and support from their teachers really help prepare them and make them better,” he said.  “I was very impressed by the underclassman representation.  Their involvement in things like this will give them a great opportunity to witness fields like architecture and construction.”

            Following the panel’s deliberation, each student called up to discuss what was liked as well as potential improvements for future designs.  They were then presented with framed copies of their designs. 

Palatine High School senior Nelson Bartolo (center left) holds his design concept.

            The judges stated following their deliberation that selecting an individual winner was difficult given the exceptional effort and design each student presented.  They stated the decision was made to select a first and second place for the first time.  They announced Palatine High School senior Audrey Birk as second place before announcing Batolo as the winner.

            Bartolo, who has been involved in Computer Drafting courses since his freshman year said he was surprised and appreciative after the announcement.

            “It just shows that hard work really does pay off,” Bartolo said.  “I am thankful to my school for the opportunity to compete in something like this and to my teachers for their amazing support.”

D211 Post: District Schools to Hold Halloween Activities for Children

            Three District 211 school’s will be hosting community Halloween events in the coming days.  William Fremd, Palatine and Hoffman Estates High Schools will open their doors to children and parents with events ranging from trick-or-treating to games and more.


           William Fremd High School will be holding their annual Halloween Fest on October 24 from 4:30 p.m. until 6:00 p.m.  The event is open to students 12 years and under with accompanying adults.  During the fest participants can trick-or-treat through the halls as well as play a variety of games.  FHS is a proud supporter of the Teal Pumpkin and will have allergy-friendly prizes for all children.  Those attending are asked to enter through the school’s main entrance.  Fremd’s student council will be trick-or-treating for non-perishable items for the Palatine Township Food Pantry.  For a list of needed items click here.

            On October 25, Palatine High School will hold its 24th annual Trick-or-Treat with Pirate Pete from 5:00 p.m. until 6:30 p.m.  The festivities are open to children 10 and under with an adult.  The event was started at Palatine by retiring principal Gary Steiger and has grown to include an inflatable corn maze, a pirate ship moon jump, petting zoo, and both “scary” and “not scary” decorated rooms for the children to tour.  More than 32 student groups, as well as community organizations will participate to, or have made donations to the event.  For more information on Trick or Treat with Pirate Pete click here.

            Finally, October 30, Hoffman Estates High School will hold its 21st annual Halloween Event from 4:30 p.m. until 6:00 p.m.  The night will include games, not-so-scary haunted rooms, crafts, trick-or-treating and treats created by the school’s Family and Consumer Science Department.  The event is open to students from 10 years old to pre-school with accompanying adults.  With more than 22 clubs and activities participating, the event offers something for everyone and has expanded beyond the first floor of the school to include the gym shelf.  For more information on HEHS’s Halloween Event contact FCS Department Chair Jessica Ecker at 847-755-5301.

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.