D211 Post: Fremd Holds Internship Signing Day

            William Fremd High School held its first ever Internship Signing Day in the school’s gym April 24.  The event, which was modeled off of College Signing Days, students signed letters of intent to participate in internships with area businesses during the summer.

            This year students will fill internships in approximately 60 different businesses including Motorola Solutions, Cisco Solutions, and Porter Lee, and many others.  During the signing ceremony Principal Kurt Tenopir thanked the businesses for providing students with internship opportunities.  Tenopir added that the signed letters represented the students’ promise to represent themselves and Fremd High School in a professional manner in the workplace.

            Any District 211 student wishing to get involved in the internship course is encouraged to join the Schoology course RPCG6-58VQR.  Companies who wish to host internships can fill out the form at www.tinyurl.com/internshiphost.

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: 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: 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.


D211 Post: Fremd Social Worker’s Kind Act a Point of Inaugural Speech

William Fremd High School Social Worker Kim Filian’s act of kindness was discussed by new Governor J.B. Pritzker.

            William Fremd High School Social Worker Kim Filian was in her office when a fellow staff member sent her an unusual text message.  According to the text, new Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker discussed an act of kindness Filian had performed in December.

            “I got a text message saying, ‘hey the new governor mentioned you in his inaugural speech three times,” Filian said.  “I thought he was kidding.”

            Soon others were reaching out to her with the same story.  Eventually someone sent Filian a video clip from the speech where Pritzker discussed Filian’s kind act in support of a neighbor couple.

            In mid-December, Filian’s neighbors Casey Handal and Zadette Rosado had a large rainbow flag stolen from their back yard.  Filian was upset by the theft and chose to purchase a replacement flag for the couple as well as flags for herself and any neighbor who wanted one as well.

            Filian said many of her neighbors responded positively, which made her feel great.

            “I was mad that this happened, and doing this was one small thing I could do to try to make things better,” Filian said.  “I did not expect the overwhelming response from the neighbors.  It renewed my faith in people.”

            In discussing Filian’s act of kindness, Pritzker said, “I see the natural beauty of Illinois every day – in our people.  More than anything else I see it in our capacity to be kind.”

            Filian said she was amazed that the new governor would chose her kindness to highlight.

            “I hope that him choosing this story to include in his inaugural speech will keep the message of kindness going,” she said.

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: Chinese Educators Visit District 211

Representatives from Community Consolidated District 15 and Township High School District 211 describe student transition from 8th grade to high school to a delegation of educators visiting from Zhejiang Province, China Oct. 25.

            A group of more than 20 education staff from the Zhejiang Province of China toured William Fremd High School on Nov. 1 as part of a multi-week education tour.  The group first met with representatives from Community Consolidated School District 15 and Township High School District 211 at the District’s G.A. McElroy Administration Center in Palatine Oct. 25.

            During the meeting at District 211’s Administration Center, representatives from both districts described the details of the schools ranging from demographics to course lists, and typical school day activities.  District 211 Associate Superintendent for Student Services Mark Kovack said the group was specifically interested in learning how 8th grade students are supported in transitioning to high school.

            “The visiting team reached out to an existing contact within District 15 to inquire about this work which led to District 211’s involvement,” Kovack said.  “The collaboration and partnership between our school districts is longstanding and provides a strong model to illustrate the transition from junior high to high school.”

            Following the meeting, the delegation traveled to District 15’s Plum Grove Junior High School where they had the opportunity to tour the school and observe classes.

William Fremd High School Principal Kurt Tenopir leads a group of educators visiting from Zhejiang Province, China on a tour of the school Nov. 1.

            On Nov. 1, the delegation returned to Palatine to tour Fremd High School.  After a brief introduction by Principal Kurt Tenopir, the delegation broke into small groups and were taken to a variety of different classes.  The groups observed classes ranging from computer programing and A.P. English to American Studies and Applied Technology.

            Delegation member Quing Song Wu said that while classes such as biology and mathematics were similar both at Fremd High School and in China, there were some classes that he was surprised to see.

            “I was interested in seeing the various career path classes such as automotive and wood classes,” Wu said through a translator.  “We have similar classes, but not at such a deep level.”

            Wu added that he was impressed by the diversity of curriculum offered in District 211.

            “It seems every student can find classes they will like here,” he added.

William Fremd High School Junior Andrea Jing describes her AP English assignment to an educator visiting from Zhejiang Province, China, Nov. 1.

            Kovack said having visits such as this can provide a unique learning experience for not only the delegates, but for the District as well.

            “These visits provide opportunities for both parties to learn about themselves and about each other.  From our perspective, as we prepare to host a visiting team, we take time to evaluate our school’s strengths and the ways those strengths have been developed and supported over time,” said Kovack.  “Feedback from the visiting team gives us an unbiased viewpoint to help us determine the overall value our systems add to students’ school experiences.  Additionally, the visits give us a chance to compare our practices with the other schools’ practices.  These comparisons help us recognize new ideas which may help us to provide students with even more meaningful educational activities.”

William Fremd English Teacher Laura Marsh describes the school’s American Studies curriculum, which combines American Literature and American History, to a group of educators visiting from Zhejiang Province, China, Nov. 1.