D211 Post: Palatine High School Holds 2nd Annual Day of Service

            While Sophomores and Juniors at Palatine High School were taking state tests last week, Freshmen and Seniors had the opportunity to participate in Palatine High School’s second annual Day of Service.  The event gave nearly 100 students the opportunity to volunteer at four elementary students.

            PHS Social Studies Teacher Andrea Guthrie said the day was arranged on this day to allow students who had out of school conflicts the opportunity to volunteer.

            “For a lot of our students, a big challenge is transportation and timing,” Guthrie said.  “This allowed us to provide transportation and a set timeframe.  We wanted to make this within the confines of a school day.”

            She added that the chosen day was based on the state test, which freshmen and seniors would have open time due to not taking state tests.

            Senior Jazmin Galvan went to Lincoln Elementary School where she read with the young students before playing at recess with them.  Galvan had attended Lincoln as a younger student.

            “It was really good to see my old school,” Galvan said.  “This was a good opportunity to go back and to work with the younger kids.”

            Guthrie said she had to limit the number of students participating this year due to the need to balance staff chaperones with test proctors at the school and number of volunteer sites.  She said the Palatine Boosters provided funds to aid in purchase of shirts for the students.

            For Galvan, the highlight was the response from the students.

            “It was great to see the looks on their faces after they asked me if I could go to recess with them,” she said.  “The trip also brought back a lot of memories from elementary school.”

            Guthrie said she is always looking for additional locations open to student volunteers.  Anyone interested can contact her at aguthrie@d211.org

D211 Post: DeoBlock – From PHS Incubator Project to Kickstarter

Drake Roberts (left) and Anthony Tamras (right), both 2016 Palatine High School graduates, are turning a Business Incubator class project into a Kickstarter business.

            When Drake Roberts and Anthony Tamras were seniors at Palatine High School, they were encouraged to become involved in the business incubator program.  Their decision to join the program changed their futures in ways they could not have at the time imagined.

            Roberts and Tamras worked together along with two other students on a project that they called DeoBlock.  The problem they chose to address was the unpleasant odor from gym bags.

            “My partner and I are avid gym goers and both played in various sports,” Roberts said.  “We realized if we left our bags in our cars overnight, our entire car would smell like our bag.”

            After doing market research, the group realized there was no long-term solution to deodorize unpleasant odors.  They designed a reusable block diffuser with an plant-based, natural solution. 

DeoBlock is a natural, reusable, plant-based deodorizing diffuser.

            DeoBlock was presented at District 211’s inaugural Incubator Pitch Night where local business leaders decided to award the group $25,000 to continue with their business plan and development.  Tamras said that program impacted their future.

            “If it hadn’t been for that pitch night, we would have never thought about setting up a business,” Tamras said.  “I was originally planning to go to law school and become a lawyer.”

            Instead of going their separate ways after high school, the team decided to attend college locally while using the funds from the Pitch Night event to continue to perfect and develop the DeoBlock design.  They said they continue to visit with current Business Incubator students at Palatine High School as a way to impress upon them the benefits of the program.

            “The opportunity we were offered [at Palatine High School] with this program was one in a million,” Roberts said.  “I love the program.”

            Currently DeoBlock is running a Kickstarter to fund their initial run of 15,000 – 20,000 units.  To contribute to the DeoBlock Kickstarter go to http://kck.st/2UcKVPO.  For more information on DeoBlock, visit www.deoblock.com.

D211 Post: District 211 To Host Open House at Student-Built Home


           Township High School District 211 will hold an open house at the student build home located at 155 E. Glade in Palatine, on April 14, from 1:00 pm – 4:00 p.m.  The house was built by students from Palatine and William Fremd High Schools as part of the District’s Building Construction Program.

D211 Post: The Future Begins Today-Informational Meeting Set for April 23

            Township High School District 211, in conjunction with High School District 214, Barrington Community Unit School District 220, and Northwest Suburban Special Education Organization (NSSEO) will hold The Future Begins Today at Palatine High School (1111 Rohlwing Rd. Palatine) April 23, from 6:00 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.  They event is for parents and guardians of individuals with a wide-range of developmental disabilities and mental health needs.

            The event will include a keynote panel titled “What’s Next-exploring options Beyond Transition Programing.  It will also include a transition resource fair with information from more than 50 adult service providers and community resource agencies.

             For more information or to download the event flyer click here.  For Spanish click here.

D211 Post: District 211 Career Expo Shows Growth in Second Year

            For the second year, Township High School District 211 held a career expo, which highlighted career path information as well as job and internship opportunities.  This year’s expo, held at Schaumburg High School, saw 600 students meet with representatives from 155 area businesses.

            District 211 Internship Coordinator Jan Brottman said following last year’s successful expo, the team of career counselors wanted to expand.

            “After seeing how successful the event was last year, we were motivated to make it even bigger this year to be able to help even more students,” she said.

            This year’s expo saw an increase of 60 businesses as well as participation by more than 200 additional students.  The expo included career fields from pipefitters and trade jobs to medical and counseling services and more.  Adam Sutter, Admissions Director for Pipefitters Local Union 597 attended to discuss the not only the option of working in the trades but to inform students of the availability of paid apprenticeship programs.  He said the Expo was a good way to reach students and discuss their options.

            “It’s good to discuss this when they are young,” he said.  “This field is another viable option where you could make a good living while providing for your family.”

            Tamara Hubbard MA, LCPC from Gonski Counseling Services had the opportunity to see the Expo from two sides.  Last year Hubbard worked as the career advisor at Schaumburg High School and was part of the team which worked to create the first Career Expo. 

            “It’s great to be on the other side this year and talk with students who have an interest in psychology and counseling and see how they may fit into that place,” she said. “It was bittersweet seeing all my old coworkers again.  The fact that the District provides this for the students and getting to be a part of it now is great.”

            Hubbard added that having the Career Expo allows students in high school to see newer career specialties such as food allergy counseling and consultation early enough to expand their understanding of the field.

            Brottman said while the overall goal of the Expo is to expose students to different careers, there are additional benefits.

            “Secondary to our primary goal, some companies were interviewing students for internships, apprenticeships or full-time jobs.” Brottman said.  “We are very fortunate as a District to have community leaders who are willing to give of their time to students who are exploring many possibilities.”

            She added that with college costs, the best time to think about career exploration is high school.  For students like Samantha McKlennon, a Freshman at William Fremd High School, and her mother Alexa having an exposure to career paths early is a great way to explore her options.

            “It’s important to see your choices early on so you can find your path and program classes you may need for your choice,” Samantha said.

            “Having this [expo] and knowing the different classes she can chose, she will be able to adjust her classes early in order to pursue her goals,” Alexa added.

            Brottman said planning for the 2020 District 211 Career Expo has already begun.  Next year’s event with be at Fremd High School on February 27.

D211 Post: Swedish Educator and Students Visit PHS Applied Tech

Palatine High School Applied Technology Department Chair Mark Hibner discusses manufacturing machines used in his classes.

            For three days last week Karl Mihlberg, head manufacturing teacher at Wilhelm Haglund Gymnasium (school) in Gimo, Sweden, and two students, Niklas Lundmark and Fabian Mattsson toured the Applied Technology Department at Palatine High School. The tour was designed to compare manufacturing classes in both schools.

            Applied Technology Department Chair Mark Hibner said the tour was coordinated in part by Sandvik Coromant, which has a presence in both countries.

            “We have representatives from Sandvik Coromant who serve on our manufacturing advisory board,” Hibner said. “They are also working in Sweden to create a strong workforce in manufacturing and engineering.”

            Mihlberg said the tour was arranged following the principal from Wilhelm Haglund visiting Illinois last year.

            “Our principal was very impressed with Mark and the manufacturing class at Palatine,” Mihlberg said. “She wanted me to come and spend more than one day to learn how things work here and so we could learn from each other.”

            He added that one difference that stood out was class size.

            “We only have about 90 students,” he said. “The amount of students and amount of machinery is much different.”

            Lundmark noticed a few technical differences as well.

Fabian Mattsson, a third year manufacturing student at Wilhelm Haglund Gymnasium in Sweden, practices setting up a machine in the Palatine High School Applied Technology classroom.

            “While [Palatine] uses inches, we are using the metric system,” he said. “Some of the coding here is also a little different.”

            Differences aside, everyone noticed many similarities in their respective programs.

            “The overall programing language, the machines, and how we handle them is all the same,” Mihlberg said. “The struggle Mark and I have with the amount of time we have compared to the amount we want to teach is the same. There’s never enough time.”

            Hibner has found the exchange enjoyable and informative for him as well.

            “They are great people and fun to talk with,” he said. “We have talked about challenges we face in the manufacturing content. We find similarities not only in our challenges, but in our solutions to educating students in the world of manufacturing.”

Karl Mihlberg, head manufacturing teacher at Wilhelm Haglund Gymnasium, discusses classroom procedures with Mark Hibner, PHS Applied Technology Department Chair, during a visit to Palatine.

D211 Post: Cisco Systems Adds Student Interns Following Career Expo

Photo courtesy of Cisco Systems.

            On April 4, 2018, Township High School District held its first Career Expo.  The expo was attended by nearly 100 area businesses representing all 16 career clusters, as well as more than 400 students looking to explore post-education career possibilities.

            One business in attendance was Cisco Systems.  Service Delivery Lead Ramya Vijay said she heard about the expo from District 211 Internship Coordinator Jan Brottman.  Ramya said she was acquainted with the District due to the networking courses focusing on Cisco was offered at the Palatine High School.

            “We saw this, in part, as a way to encourage more students to take networking courses,” she said.  “We felt that  District 211 was the best to start expanding our STEM (Science Technology, Engineering, and Math) initiatives.” During the Career Expo, We had an overwhelming number of students interested in internships with Cisco.

            “We received more than 50 resumes,” Ramya said.  “After rigorous interviews, we selected 10 students to intern with us.  Cisco also wants to encourage girls in STEM , so had a good number of girls join our internship as well”

            During the internship, students were exposed to the many aspects of Cisco including hands-on lab work, tech classes, applications in real-world scenarios, and meetings with various executives from Cisco.  They were asked to create ideas and present business case for entrepreneurship during their innovation challenge. Students were awarded gift certificates for the best idea for the innovation challenge.   Ramya and her Cisco team were very impressed with the District students.

Photo courtesy of Cisco Systems.

            “The students were highly motivated and disciplined,” Ramya said.  “No one missed any classes.  There was a lot of engagement from students and parents.  While they learned from us, we also learned a lot of things from them as well.  It was a great experience.”

            Ramya added that she was impressed with the Career Expo.

            “It’s a wonderful thing to have the expo,” she said.  “It is never dry.  We had a constant stream of students and parents.  This expo is time well spent for any business.”

            This year’s Career Expo will be March 13, at Schaumburg High Schools.  Businesses wishing to participate can sign up at www.tinyurl.com/2019D211Expo The deadline for businesses to register is February 22.