D211 Post: Triple Letter Palatine Athlete Selected Wintrust Athlete of the Week

Bridget Witt, a representative of Palatine Bank and Trust, presents a plaque to Eddie Orozco, a senior at Palatine High School, recognizing him as the Wintrust Athlete of the Week.

             Eduardo “Eddie” Orozco, a senior at Palatine High School, was selected by Wintrust Community Bank as their “Athlete of the Week.”  Orozco, who has received varsity letters in football, wrestling, and track, was presented with a plaque Feb. 14.

            “Eddie is the perfect student to represent our program,” said head wrestling coach Jeff Keske.  “Commitment, hardworking, and perseverance are three words which describe him.”

            Orozco injured his shoulder during his final season wrestling at Palatine.  Keske said most athletes would consider their season over.

            “This is late in the season,” said Keske.  “We were thinking, his high school career was done.”

            Keske said Orozco worked out while recovering and made a surprising return to finish his season through regional and sectional athletes.

             Head football coach Corey Olson, who nominated Orozco for the award, said it was Orzoco’s performance both on and off the field which led to the nomination.

            “He’s a three-sport athlete, a member of numerous clubs, and does a lot of service throughout the community,” Olson said.  “He just exemplifies the type of leadership you’re looking for in athletes, and students in general,”

            Orozco said he was surprised and honored to receive the award.

            “It was a big honor,” he said.  “It’s cool to see my hard work doesn’t go un-noticed.”

Students from Palatine High School crowd around Eddie Orozco while congratulating him on being named the Wintrust Athlete of the Week.

            Orozco added that his family has been a large contributor to his success in school and athletics.

            “My family was always there for me,” he added.  “My dad and mom have sacrificed so much to make sure we had what we need.  If they can work that hard, there is no reason I couldn’t.”

            With graduation approaching for Orozco, he said he plans to go to college.  Though he has received multiple letters, he has not made a definitive choice on where he will attend




D211 Post: All Girl Business Team Pitches Concept to Area Women Business Leaders

Gianna Valero (right), a senior at Palatine High School, discusses her group’s business model during a presentation to the Palatine WIBAF (Women in Business Advisory Forum) during the organization’s monthly meeting at Palatine High School.

            Three Palatine High School Business Incubator students, Phoebe Domanus, Gianna Valero, and Anushri Gupta, presented their business design for Nail Bubs, protective covers for freshly painted nails, to the Palatine Chamber of Commerce Women in Business Advisory Forum (WIBAF) during the organization’s monthly meeting held at Palatine High School, Feb. 13.

            Business teacher Adrienne Stewart said having the programs only all-female team present to the forum was part of a plan to show students what it’s like to be a woman entrepreneur.

            “This was part of an initiative that is reaching out to woman business leaders to expose our female students to what it’s like in a male-dominated field,” she said.  “We’re so thankful the Palatine Chamber allowed us to host this event.”

Bridget Witt, a member of the Palatine Women in Business Advisory Forum (WIBAF), offers feedback to a group of Palatine High School Business Incubator students.

            Katie Forsythe, a chairperson with WIBF said she enjoyed hearing the students’ pitch.

            “It was awesome to see and hear their pitch,” she said.  “It was great that the students could get feedback from this dynamic group of women.”

            For all three students, presenting to a room full of women was a welcome change. 

Phoebe Domanus, a junior enrolled in Palatine High School’s Business Incubator program, discusses her team’s business model to the Palatine Women in Business Advisory Forum Feb. 13.

            “It was a good experience because we are not used to dealing with women in business at all,” said Gupta.  “We’ve dealt only with men, whether that was in class, or as mentors.”

            Valero stated that she hopes events such as this will encourage more girls to enroll in the Business Incubator program.

            “There is definitely a disproportionate amount of men over women in our class,” she said.

            Domanus added that presenting their pitch to women was better received.

            “This was very beneficial,” she said.  “It was better than the previous investor board which was all male, because women understand our product better.”

Anushri Gupta, a senior enrolled in in Palatine High School’s Business Incubator program, discusses market research conducted on their “Nail Bubs,” project.




D211 Post: PTV: Student Run Network Provides School’s News

Senior Niki Wagner applies make-up to Danny Hollander prior to filming an episode of PTV at Palatine High School.

            In a brightly lit green room adjoining the Palatine High School media center, Danny Hollander and Kyla Mathews are dusted with a light amount of make-up by Niki Wagner while Bridget Maire adjusts a camera and teleprompter.  The four seniors are part of the crew for PTV, the school’s student run television station.

            PTV began in 2013 after Palatine High School added a 12-minute homeroom to the school day.  According to teacher Erin Luzadder, the intention was to increase communication and connections throughout the school.

            “This included a twice-a-week presentation of PTV for general announcements,” Luxadder said.

Junior Miguel Barrios reviews footage with senior Campbell Boston following a filming of PTV.

            The first episodes were recorded using Touchcast and consisted entirely of student volunteers.  By the second year, PTV was established as a course with dedicated teachers and resources.  The program evolved to include features and a monthly address by principal Gary Steiger. 

            Jessica Aulisio took over as the teacher for PTV, which is currently an elective art course, last year.    She said her intent is to develop a full broadcast course which would help students with an interest in the career field. 

            Aulisio said she enjoys seeing how much ownership of the show the students take.

            “I am just the person who oversees the daily operations and give them the tools they need,” she said.  “It’s been a really great experience for me to see the students so engaged and working so hard to improve.”

            Most of the students currently enrolled in course A200, the course which covers PTV, are seniors, but Aulisio said that hasn’t stopped them from working to improve the production into the future. 

            “The students give suggestions on how to improve the program even if they won’t see it grown with them,” she said. 

            For Maire, who is in her second year with PTV, it was the uniqueness of the course that drew her attention.

Students in course A200, which produces PTV, work to adjust a teleprompter prior to filming an episdode.

            “I love the experience,” she said.  “It’s really something that not many schools can provide.  I love learning things that you can’t in any other class.”

            Campbell Boston, a senior who typically anchors the school’s sports report, agrees with Maire.

            “I enjoy how you can get a real-world experience that you can’t get in a math or science class,” he said. 

            Aulisio said she and fellow staff members will present a proposal which will add broadcast courses to the remaining district schools.  Students at Palatine who wish to be involved in PTV should register for A200 or talk to their academic counselors.

            Previous episodes of PTV can be found on their Youtube channel PHS PTV.   To see the difference in the studio and the episode, watch this brief video below.




D211 Post: PHS Holds 7th Annual Empty Bowl Charity Event

A group of teachers from Palatine High School talk while sampling a variety of soup prepared by students in the Chemistry of Foods class for their annual Empty Bowl charity fundraiser.

    Students from Palatine High School’s Chemistry of Foods and 3-D Design classes combined to hold the school’s 7th annual Empty Bowl Charity Event.  The event is based on a project started by Michigan teachers Lisa Blackburn and John Hartom in the early 1990s, and raises money for the Palatine Food Bank.

    During the event, students in the Chemistry of Foods class prepare a variety of soups, breads, and small deserts. Attendees can choose to purchase ceramic bowls created by the 3-D Ceramic Arts Class.  

    Erika Varela, a culinary arts teacher at Palatine, said the event allows students in the Chemistry of Foods class to fulfill one of the critical learning standards for the class.

    “Part of the Chemistry of Foods curriculum includes serving customers,” she said.  “We happen to have a classroom which we can turn into a restaurant so we do it this way.”

Randal Sternquist and Kiara Zamora, juniors at Palatine High School, cut cornbread during the Chemistry of Foods class’s annual Empty Bowl charity fundraiser.

    For senior William Landeene, his favorite part is the cooking and comradery.  

    “I just like cooking it all,” he said.  “Having all the teachers smile and like the food is great.”

    ESL teachers Seju Jain and Jose Zepeda have attended the event for multiple years.  Both agree that seeing the students engaged in an event that alerts them to those in need is a good thing.

    “We have several programs we program with, partner with, like blessings in a backpack,” said Jain.  “This is nice for people to know that this is a real issue, and for kids to get behind too.”

    While everyone dined, the room was lined with 24 bowls created by the 3-D Design.  Karen Lange said the creation took two weeks.

Germaine Wells, a teaching assistant at Palatine High School, scoops some soup during the Chemistry of Food class’s annual Empty Bowl charity fundraiser.

    “The students knew this was for Empty Bowls,” she said.  “They learned how to create for a commercial purpose, so they made the colors and patterns universal.”

    Lange said events like this shows the students the importance of service.

    “This really talks about service and about people who don’t have as much as them,” she said.  “For those who may need charity, it lets them know we are all in this together.”

              This year the students served more than 120 meals and raised $300 for the Palatine food bank.  The event also auctioned off nine hand-made wooden items crafted by retired applied technology department chairman Roger Basrack.

Dr. Daniel Cates, Township High School District 211 Superintendent, pours himself a bowl of broccoli cheddar soup during Palatine High School Chemistry of Foods class’s Empty Bowl charity fundraiser.




D211 Post: Anatomage Table Provides New Resource for Biology Students

Students at Palatine High School study the bones of the skull on the new Anatomage Table.

            Students at Palatine High School now have a new way to study biology thanks to a device called an Anatomage table.  The table allows students to explore 3-dimensional images of various aspects of human anatomy.

            “The biggest advantage is just application, and the amount of different things you can do with this,” said Christian Keller, a biology teacher at Palatine High School. 

            The table uses images of actual cadavers to provide students with a real-life view of the human body.  Students have the ability to view the body at every level.  The latest update to the table included a variety of injuries, which allows students to see the impact beyond the surface.

            Keller said the table allows the students to cut into various sections while allowing them to manipulate the view.

            Senior Sarah Jasonowicz said the table is a great asset when she and fellow students are doing practical exercises. 

            “You’re able to see [the body] in a life size form,” she said.  “It has helped me with practicals and tests.  You can ask the table a question by tapping on the bones or muscles and it will name it for you.”

            The interactive images of actual cadavers were one aspect which has helped senior Stephanie Bender in studying for tests.

            “Seeing it in life makes it easier to picture on yourself,” Bender said.  “It’s like math, you don’t know what you’re doing until you connect it to something real world.”

            Bender and Jasonowicz both plan to pursue medical careers after college.  They both feel having this table in high school helps them prepare for college classes.

Students at Palatine High School quiz each other on the bones of the skull during a biology class. Students are using the school’s new Anatomage table to verify their answers.

            “This is definitely what I am going to see later in life,” said Bender.  “I am going to have a head start.”

            Jasonowich plans to eventually become a bio-medical engineer.  She said this table gives her a taste of what she will need to know later.

            “My ideal job would be doing prosthetics,” she said.  Seeing bones and how they attach and all the muscles I will need to learn later is great.”

            The school purchased the table shortly before the beginning of the school year, and Keller said he exploring more options to implement it into future classes.

            “This first year I got it into the bones and muscles where it can be an additional resource,” he said.  “But, just thinking about next year, and how can we build in case studies?  How can we make it so it can be part of discussions?  The possibilities going forward are very exciting.”




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: Palatine Students Win Cooking Competition

Members of the Palatine High School team Will Landeene, Jaz (Diya) Sujayananda, Patti Dabrowska, and Gio Llanos-Hernandez pose with teacher Erika Varela.

Students enrolled in the culinary arts program at Palatine High School won the first Camos and Cooks competition hosted by Illinois Army National Guard Recruiting and Retention Command’s Delta Herd at Harper College Oct. 18.  The students competed against teams from Harper as well as the Illinois Army National Guard.

            Senior Patti Dabrowska, the team captain, said the competition, which required the competitors to create a main course, dessert, and beverage using military Meals Ready to Eat (MRE) as the main ingredient, was a lot of pressure.

            “I tried to play cool,” she said “It was very exciting though.  There was a lot of emotion.”

Patti Dabrowska, a senior at Palatine High School in Palatine, Illinois, stirs batter for crêpes during the Camo and Cooks competition at Harper College.

Dabrowska was not the only one who felt the pressure.  Staff Sgt. Krystal Vazquez from Cicero, Illinois, a culinary specialist with the 3625th Component Repair Company, based in Chicago, said she was also nervous.

            “It was very nerve-racking,” said Vazquez.  “I was nervous, but I had a lot of fun with this.”

Staff Sgt. Rim Zivalich of Chicago, the supply noncomissioned officer for the 3625th Component Repair Company based in Chicago, discusses her teams recipe with Cpl. Krystal Vazquez of Cicero, Illinois, a culinary specialist with the 3625th.

            Erika Varela, a culinary arts teacher at Palatine High School said she was impressed by the effort and efficiency of her students. 

            In the competition, each team was given 35 minutes to create their meals from scratch. The teams then had to present their meals to a panel of three judges which included a representative from Harper College, Palatine High School, and the Illinois Army National Guard.

            Capt. James Brock, commanding officer of Battery C, 2nd Battalion, 122nd Field Artillery based in Chicago, served as the judge representing the Guard.  He said after tasting the food that he was surprised MREs were used as the food tasted completely different.

The three judges sample each team’s dishes during the Camo and Cooks competition at Harper College.

            After the judges evaluated the meals from all three teams, 1st Sgt. Chad McDannald, the senior noncommissioned officer for Delta Herd announced Palatine as the winner.  That announcement brought a wave of emotions to the young team.

            “I cried,” said senior Jaz (Diya) Sujayananda.  “Cooking is a passion but I have never competed like this before.  I am glad I was picked to compete.”

            Junior Gio Llanos-Hernandez was also surprised to hear the announcement. 

            “I was shocked,” he said.  “I feel very proud.  This will make my parents proud too.”

Though his team did not win, Staff Sgt. Mauricio Manzo of Chicago, a culinary noncommissioned officer with the 3625th enjoyed the competition.

            “I really like that it gave us the opportunity to promote the culinary side of the Army,” he said.  “It’s nice to show off what we can do.”

            McDannald presented each member of the Palatine team with a plaque in recognition of their victory.

The Palatine High School Team shows off their championship plaques following the Camos and Cooks competition at Harper College.