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: Fremd Students Work to Build Stronger Student Community

Orange notes decorate the halls of William Fremd during W.A.C. Week.

            When William Fremd High School sophomore Nora Joerger learned of the tragedy in Parkland, Florida, she felt compelled to do something to help.  After a conversation with Fremd High School Early Childhood Development Teacher Erin Fasse, meetings with school administration, and discussions with other students, Joerger and 10 of her classmates decided to create the first-ever W.A.C. Week. 

            Joerger said the idea was to build a stronger community within Fremd High School.

            “We were thinking, how can we do this without it becoming political,” she said.  “So, we were thinking if we could just build our community, that would be the best goal for the school.”

            Fasse said after speaking with Joerger, she had multiple students in her early childhood development class talking about wanting to have their voices heard on issues involving the Parkland tragedy. 

            “I thought this could be a real teachable moment,” Fasse said.  “Throughout that period, we discussed ways to help.  The next day we brainstormed different ideas to make everyone feel like a part of the community, safe and aware.”

            By day three, the decision was made to create a spirit week.

William Fremd High School students (from left to right) Nora Joerger, Olivia Budzisz, Sarah Stevens, Jenny Mitchell, and Vito Giannis were the core designers of the school’s 1st ever W.A.C. Week.

            The name W.A.C. Week was originally the idea of sophomore Sarah Stevens.  The three focuses of the week are wellness, awareness, and community.  Stevens said as the team was brainstorming ideas, she decided to simply use the first letter of each focal idea to create the name.

            “We were all spitting out names like community week, Viking Strong, and Ms. Fasse came up with Wellness, Awareness, and Community,” she said.  “I thought that was too long, so I just took the first letters, and I said, ‘W.A.C. Week.’  I was sort of joking, but everyone decided that was actually very good, so we went with it.”

            Over the course of the week, orange Post-it notes with words of encouragement like “We’re glad you’re here,” and “love yourself, love others,” decorated the halls.  Students were encouraged to pull them off and hand them to friends or strangers as a means of encouragement.

            Junior Jenny Mitchell believes the true impact of W.A.C. Week will be seen for years to come.

            “It was hard spreading the word this year because it has never happened before,” she said.  “I feel like in the coming years, upper-classmen will know more about it and tell underclassmen.”

            She added that her hope is future freshmen knowing about and looking forward to W.A.C. Week the same as other spirit weeks such as the school’s widely known Writer’s Week.

Fremd High School Freshman Megan Keith signs a banner which reads “We All Count” during Fremd’s W.A.C. Week.

D211 Post: Fremd Boosters to Host Annual Spring Craft Boutique


             The William Fremd High School Booster will host their annual Spring Craft Boutique at the Fremd High School April 14, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.  The event is free and open to the public. 

            The boutique, which the booster club has hosted for more than 20 years, will feature local vendors offering a variety of handmade crafts as well as a variety of accessories, gifts, and food.  Members of the booster club will have the Viking Spirit Shop open as well.

            Questions on this year’s Spring Craft Boutique can be sent to fremdcraftfair@gmail.com


D211 Post: William Fremd High School Named Among Distinguished High Schools by Project Lead The Way


Paul Hardy, Applied Technology Department Chair for William Fremd High School, discusses implementing wiring and design during an engineering class.

            William Fremd High School has been recognized as a Project Lead The Way (PLTW) Distinguished School for providing broad access to transformative learning opportunities for students through PLTW Engineering. It is one of just 133 high schools across the U.S. to receive this honor. PLTW is a nonprofit organization that serves millions of K-12 students and teachers in over 10,500 schools across the U.S.

            “I am very happy we received this,” said Applied Technology Department Chair Paul Hardy.  “One thing we pride ourselves on is the high percentage of returning students.”

           The PLTW Distinguished School recognition honors schools committed to increasing student access, engagement, and achievement in their PLTW programs. To be eligible for the designation, Fremd had to meet the following criteria:

  • Offer at least three PLTW courses;
  • Have 25 percent of students or more participate in PLTW courses, or of those who participated in PLTW, at least 33 percent took two or more PLTW courses;
  • Have 70 percent of students or more earn a Proficient or higher on PLTW End-of-Course Assessments, or 10 percent of students earn the AP + PLTW Student Achievement.

Through PLTW programs, students develop STEM knowledge as well as in-demand, transportable skills that they will use both in school and for the rest of their lives, on any career path they take.

Fremd High School freshman Nathan Hochhalter sends test signals from his iPad to a radio controlled car built as part of his engineering course project.

PLTW EngineeringTM empowers high school students to step into the role of an engineer and adopt a problem-solving mindset. Students engage in collaborative, real-life activities like working with a client to design a home, programming electronic devices or robotic arms, and exploring algae as a biofuel source.

           “It is a great honor to recognize William Fremd High School for their commitment to students,” said Vince Bertram, President and CEO of PLTW. “They are a model for what school should look like, and they should be very proud of ensuring students have the knowledge and skills to be career ready and successful on any career path they choose.”

           Township High School District 211 is part of a community of K-12 schools, colleges and universities, and corporate and philanthropic partners across the country united around a passion for providing students with inspiring, engaging, and empowering learning opportunities. For more information about PLTW’s recognition program, visit pltw.org/our-programs/program-recognition.

           Hardy said the next step to continuing the program’s success, is to continue informing both parents and students of the availability of various engineering courses.

           “We have a lot of parents and students who are surprised to hear we have these programs,” Hardy said.  “Once the students complete their first class, a lot of them find they really enjoy it.”

A group of Fremd High School engineering students test drive radio controlled cars they designed. Students in the course had to design and power functional vehicles.

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.