D211 Post: Fremd Says Thank You to Health Care Workers

            Members of William Fremd High School’s sophomore class executive board wanted to say thank you to area health care workers battling the COVID-19 pandemic.  To do this, they collected more than 100 cards from students which were delivered to AMITA Health St. Alexius Hospital in Hoffman Estates.

            Fremd High School Science Department Chair Karl Craddock said the idea came out of a brainstorming session among the 54-member board.

            “They wanted to help raise the spirits of the students and outside community during this difficult time,” he said.  “While they came up with many great ideas, the one that they kept coming back to was Thank You notes for the frontline health care workers that are battling the COVID-19 crisis.”

            He said the student who led the planning and organization of the card drive was sophomore Manaswita Kodali.  She said her inspiration came from her own family.

            “I was inspired by the health care workers’ resilience and sacrifice during this pandemic,” she said.  “My uncle is an MD doctor on pulmonary medicine in India and he is also risking his life and my grandparent’s lives for the sole purpose of serving his community. Every day is full of fear for my entire family.”

Fremd Science Department Chair Karl Craddock (left) and sophomore Manaswita Kodali (right) deliver cards to Cate Osterholz at AMITA Health St. Alexius Hospital in Hoffman Estates.

            As part of her preparation for the drive, Kodali designed the cards and coordinated a plan for delivery to St. Alexius.  Craddock said that once the drive was started, students from a variety of groups pitched in to help.

            “We had students from clubs like the Red Cross Club and Student Council along with teachers and support staff contribute,” Craddock said.

            In only two days, the group had created more than 100 cards which were then delivered to St. Alexius where they were met with appreciation from the medical staff.

            Kodali said that she hoped this would not only uplift the front-line medical providers but teach her fellow students.

            “I want my fellow students to know that even the smallest form of appreciation towards the health care workers can make a big difference in their hearts,” she said.

            Craddock added that he hopes this sends a message of both unity and appreciation.

            “We hope that it sends the message that we are all in this together, and that during this holiday season, it is important to take the necessary precautions to keep everyone safe,” he said.  “In addition, take time to give thanks for our community front line workers who are working around the clock to keep us safe.”




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.




PHOTOS: Guest Speaker Dr. Betances Encourages Community Support in Education

Hoffman Estates High School hosted Dr. Samuel Betances and his wife, Dr. Laura Souder, to speak with the community about ways to help students reach their full potential on March 1. The goal of the event was to teach the necessary tools for success in education and how a community can support that. Betances is the author of Winning the Future Through Education, and the founder of Souder, Betances, and Associates, Inc. He shared his personal journey of dropping out of high school to graduating with a doctorate from Harvard University as motivation for students, as well as to create awareness with educators and community members. The keynote address was in Spanish followed by a reception for Spanish-speaking families and community members.  He then gave a keynote address in English with a reception that followed.

HEHS Student Octavio Madera introducing Dr. Betances during the Spanish-speaking presentation.

HEHS Student Octavio Madera introducing Dr. Betances during the Spanish-speaking presentation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Betances interacting with the Spanish-speaking audience.

Dr. Betances interacting with the Spanish-speaking audience.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Betances with HEHS student Octavio Madera.

Dr. Betances with HEHS student Octavio Madera.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HEHS Student Mynk Richardson-Clerk introducing Dr. Betances during the English-speaking presentation.

HEHS Student Mynk Richardson-Clerk introducing Dr. Betances during the English-speaking presentation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Betances addressing the English-speaking audience.

Dr. Betances addressing the English-speaking audience.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HEHS Title 1 Social Worker Bina Rubinson addressing the English-speaking audience.

HEHS Title 1 Social Worker Bina Rubinson addressing the English-speaking audience.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture of the dignitaries: (from L to R) District 54 School Board member Mary Kay Prusnick, State Representative Fred Crespo, Dr. Betances, Hoffman Estates Mayor McLeod, State Representative Michelle Mussman, Hanover Park Mayor Rodney Craig, and Hanover Park Trustee Jon Kunkel.

Picture of the dignitaries: (from L to R) District 54 School Board member Mary Kay Prusnick, State Representative Fred Crespo, Dr. Betances, Hoffman Estates Mayor McLeod, State Representative Michelle Mussman, Hanover Park Mayor Rodney Craig, and Hanover Park Trustee Jon Kunkel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HEHS Student Mynk Robertson-Clerk with Dr. Betances.

HEHS Student Mynk Robertson-Clerk with Dr. Betances.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Betances addressing the English-speaking audience.

Dr. Betances addressing the English-speaking audience.




HEHS Hosts Community Event, Guest Speaker to Teach Tools for Student Success

poster englishFamily, community members, and community organizations play an important role in student success and growth. To showcase the ways to help motivate students, District 211 is inviting an expert to share his experiences.

Hoffman Estates High School is hosting Dr. Samuel Betances and his wife, Dr. Laura Souder, to speak with the community about ways to help students reach their full potential on March 1. The keynote address in Spanish will begin at 2 p.m and will be followed by a reception for Spanish-speaking families and community members.  He will then give a keynote address in English beginning at 4 p.m., with a reception to follow.  Childcare will be available during the event, and food and drinks will be served at the receptions.

spnishad“Dr. Betances story is extraordinary,” said Jerry Trevino, director of Summer School & Community Outreach. “He has taken lessons from his personal and professional experiences to teach and motivate others with the goal of promoting and fostering educational empowerment for all.”

The goal of the event is to teach the necessary tools for success in education and how a community can support that. Betances is the author of Winning the Future Through Education, and the founder of Souder, Betances, and Associates, Inc. He shares his personal journey of dropping out of high school to graduating with a doctorate from Harvard University as motivation for students, as well as to create awareness with educators and community members.

For more information, please contact Hoffman Estates High School Assistant Principal Josh Schumacher at (847) 755-5612, or by email at jschumacher@d211.org.




Enrollment for Fall 2012 Continuing Education Now Open

With an opportunity to learn something new every day, District 211 offers Continuing Education courses to community members and individuals who are 18 years or older. The Continuing Education course catalog, which is available online for fall 2012, offers a wide-range of courses that cater to individual’s interests and skill-building needs. Course topics range from foreign language, home improvement, fitness, personal enrichment, cooking, and more.

“Continuing education provides learning opportunities for community members to learn something new,” said Charles Chamberlain, director of summer school, evening programs, and continuing education in District 211. “Our goal is to provide the community with affordable, flexible, life-long learning opportunities.”

The courses are offered for a relatively low cost. Although the District advertises to community members, anyone can enroll in a continuing education course. Senior Citizens — over the age of 62 — also can apply for a District 211 Gold Card that allows them to receive discounted course fees.

Continuing education has been available to community members for more than 50 years, and continues to grow. Each year, there are different courses available, with several different sections to accommodate different schedules. Courses not only provide learning opportunities to the community, but also different teaching opportunities for District 211 teachers. Some can teach courses that they specialize in and in a classroom environment that is different from teaching high school students.

“What’s great about continuing education courses from a teaching perspective is that everyone in the course shares the same interest, and they are there because they want to enhance skills in a particular subject,” Chamberlain said. “It’s also an opportunity capitalize on utilization of building spaces and the District’s numerous resources because if we have them, we should use them.”

Chamberlain said these courses are great opportunities to take advantage of whether you need to enhance Spanish, or are interested in exploring an already existing hobby. If interested in enrolling in a course, individuals can sign up online, using mail, fax, phone, or in person. To access the course catalog, click here.

District 211 is always looking for course suggestions and individuals who would like to apply to teach a course. For more information, contact the Continuing Education department by calling (847) 755-6820.