D211 Post: Two District 211 Students Named Schaumburg Township District Library Student Advisory Trustees

           For the past 10 years, the Board of Trustees at the Schaumburg Township District Library has selected two individuals between the ages of 15 and 19 to serve in the role of Student Advisory Trustees whose role it is to serve as representatives to their peers.  This year’s Student Advisory Trustees are District 211 students Alisa Gandhi from James B. Conant High School and Matthew Williams from Schaumburg High School.  On September 17, the two students were sworn in to begin their one-year term.

            Teen Outreach Librarian Anna Pederson said selected students must reside within the boundaries who apply and undergo an interview by three members of the board.  Perspective SAT’s are asked to describe their extracurricular and volunteer activities as well as their favorite programs at the library.

Williams and Gandhi with members of the Schaumburg Township Library Board.

            “I typically look for someone who regularly uses the library’s services, attends library programs, demonstrates responsibility, presents themselves well, and shows initiative,” she said.  “It’s a lot to ask for someone that age, but I have always been impressed at the caliber of teens that apply.”

            Students selected for the position can serve a total 2 years.  Each term runs from September through the following July.  In their position, they will provide a unique student perspective that the board would not have.  They will also work to help make teens aware of the variety of activities being hosted by the library.  Pederson said each group of SAT’s contribute to the library in their own ways.

           “There are numerous small ways each SAT has contributed that, bundled as a collective effort, has greatly benefitted the library,” she said.

D211 Post: Conant HS Teacher Named Technology Education Association of Illinois’ New Teacher of the Year

Shayna Adelman, an applied technology teacher at James B. Conant High School, was named New Teacher of the Year by the Technology Education Association of Illinois.  She received her award during the association’s annual conference in Bloomington, Ill., on October 27.

            Adelman received the award, which recognizes outstanding teachers in their first five years, based on her work in applied sciences, as well as her work with students in programs such as the robotics club, and Girls in Engineering Math and Science (GEMS).

            Adelman said she was surprised when she was informed she had won.

            “I felt honored by this,” she said.  “I didn’t know someone nominated me.”

            Adelman is currently pursuing a master’s degree in STEM Education and Leadership through Illinois State University.  She said one of her passions is the promotion of gender equality in science and engineering fields, a topic about which she has delivered multiple presentations.

            “Partially because of the way our textbooks have been written, children mostly hear about important discoveries and innovations by men,” she said.  “They rarely hear these stories about women, even though they are numerous.”

            Though new to teaching, Adelman is experienced in the field of engineering.  Prior to teaching at Conant High School, she studied mechanical engineering and has worked in computer science.

            Adelman encourages individuals to never avoid doing things for fear of failing.

            “Everyone who ever did something great failed hundreds of times first,” she said.  “The history books care about the successes, not how many times it took to get there.”


High School District 211 announces that 31 students have been named semifinalists in the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Competition.

Semifinalists are selected based on scores on the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (P.S.A.T./N.M.S.Q.T.).

William Fremd High School students Abhinav R. Balu, Kevin Chen, Varun Cidambi, Bissmun Gill, Matthew C. Grabianski, Kailey G. Henson, Stephanie X. Hu, Jesse Huang, Kashif Javid, Edward W. Li, Anna J. Miller, Allison M. Nakazawa, Adhith Palla, Nicholas L. Parekh, Elizabeth D. Perez, Andrew L. Ruan, Lauren P. Streitmatter, and Jerry Zheng have been named semifinalists.

Anubhav Agarwal, Adithya S. Chari, Annika K. Lafyatis, Bianca Saputra, Nitinshankar Subramanian, Sarah R. Yamaguchi, and Allison L. Zhang from James B. Conant High School have been named semifinalists.

The semifinalists from Hoffman Estates High School are Ryohei Namiki, Megha Ramanathan, and Shashank Sandu.

Schaumburg High School’s semifinalists are Lisa N. Bonatz and Edwin J. Suresh.

Bhargav Yadavalli is the semifinalist from Palatine High School.

For more information, see the release from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

D211 Post: District 211 Joins Sprint’s 1Million Project


Joanna Avalos, a senior at Palatine High School, completes a survey before receiving a wireless hotspot from Sprint as part of the 1 Million Project. Township High School District 211 paired with Sprint in the project which provides free wireless internet to high school students.


            Students within Township High School District 211 will have easier access to the internet to complete web-based homework after the District partnered with Sprint in its 1Million Project. The project provides qualifying students a free wireless hotspot from the Sprint Foundation, with an unlimited data package from Sprint, enabling them access they might not otherwise have.

            “This generous program will be a game-changer for our students,” said Dr. Daniel Cates, District 211 superintendent. “Since we began the one-to-one program, we have been mindful of students who did not have regular, reliable internet access.”

            For some students, it will reduce the number of hours they have to remain after school to work on assignments.

            “I will usually stay here until 6:00 p.m.,” said Priyanshu Bahadur, a sophomore at Palatine High School. “If I cannot stay, then I have to come in early the next day to finish.”

            With this device, Priyanshu said he would be able to spend more non-school hours at home with family.


Rusty Cumings, the assistant principal at Shaumburg High School, discusses the wireless hotspot from Sprint to a student.

            For a student at Schaumburg High School it was time away from school that caused trouble in his ability to do homework. He said when his family is on the road, he cannot access the internet to complete larger assignments. With this device, he will be able to stay on top of his assignments.

            For Palatine High school senior Honoer Okhave this will improve more than just his academic performance.

            “I didn’t have internet at home, so I just wouldn’t do my homework,” said Honoer. “I used to get in trouble a lot.”

            Honoer said he was excited when he saw the letter announcing the new program.

            “I used to wish the school could find a way to get us Internet outside of here,” he said. “This is like a dream come true.”

            Sprint plans to distribute 1million devices to qualifying students during the five-year project. District 211 is one of the first school districts in Chicagoland to participate.

Joanna Avalos, Priyanshu Bahadur, and Honoer Okhavhe, students at Palatine High School, learn how to use their new wireless hotspot.

            “We are both grateful and excited for our students who will benefit because they now have convenient and reliable access to the same universe of information that others have,” said Dr. Cates.           

            The District has distributed 225 devices to students. Each device has built-in content filters, similar to filters that are in-place in school networks. Part of the agreement between Sprint and participating schools is that Sprint will handle all technical issues and trouble shooting with the devices.

            Students who receive a Sprint device will have access to the service for the duration of their high school career.

            Dr. Cates believes this will have a positive impact on students well beyond this school year.

            “Once we can draw upon the impact for our first group of students, we hope that no student in the future has to be limited by a lack of internet access,” he said.


Mr. Mike Alther, an assistant principal at Palatine High School, explains how to use one of the Sprint wireless hotspots.

PHS, CHS Students Win Big at District 211 Business Incubator Pitch Night

Students in High School District 211’s Business Incubator program spent the school year developing business ideas to try to bring them to life with the help of investors.

Six of the best teams from each school’s Business Incubator course were selected to compete at the District Pitch Night for real funding this past May. After planning and preparation, each team presented their business idea to a panel of judges in hopes of being awarded $20,000 in seed money from the District 211 Foundation.

Two teams won this year’s seed money: Green Dirt from Conant High School and Snow and Co. from Palatine High School. Green Dirt also was recently invited to compete at the INCubatoredu National Pitch Competition that will take place at the Loyola Corby Law Center in Chicago this July.

Students enrolled in the Business Incubator class learn what it takes to be an entrepreneur, as well as how to be successful in creating their own product or service. The course covers topics about marketing, human resources, accounting, and the legal aspects of operating a business. When preparing for pitches, students worked not only with their classroom teacher, but also had support from community content experts and mentors. For the teams that did not receive funding, investors encouraged them all to continue pursuing their ideas.

The following teams participated at the District 211 pitch night event:


WINNER: Green Dirt – Conant High School 

Students: Akash Moozhayil, Kunal Mahajan, Stoil Ionov, Rohan Antony, Patryk Barszczuk

Mentor: David Wolff of Wolff’s Fleamarket          

Company overview: GreenDirt is a startup company that addresses the major problem of food waste. We collect scraps from local restaurants, convert to a premium gardening product, vermicompost, which we then sell to local nurseries and garden centers.






WINNER: Snow and Co. – Palatine High School

Students: Alex Brztowski, Katherine Perez, Nemecio Luna, Reil Snow

Mentor: CJ Ritterbusch of Concord Marketing Solutions

Company overview: The Janus Pack is the solution for students who need to charge their electronics while helping students with organizational skills.







Finalist: KickCarrier – Schaumburg High School

Students: Katherine Edeus, Daniel Galovich, Lisette Hurtado, Vincent Kandefer

Mentor: Jon Zaley of Odem Expo

Company overview: KickCarrier is a unique platform where sneakerheads can buy, sell, or trade shoes. If it doesn’t sell, we will buy it!





Finalist: ProjecTapp-Tapp Camp – Conant High School

Students: Eliot Chang, Mitesh Patel, Michael Kim

Mentor: Jim Gallo of Specialty Finishing Group

Company overview: ProjecTapp is a start-up mobile app developer for the private and public sector providing an incubator-type platform that integrates TappCamp, a coding educational and training service. TappCamp educates students in grades 5 – 12 to become app writers and future app developers for ProjecTapp that, in return, adds more innovation and creativity to the mobile app industry.





Finalist: BlissFoot – Fremd High School

Students: Laura Bienek, Aarsh Desai, Hanna Murakami, Luke Schoffstall, Gianfranco Torres

Mentor: Chris Banakis of Acuity Advisory Partners LLC

Company overview: BlissFoot provides competitive long distance runners and other endurance athletes with on-the-go protection against friction, and the resulting irritation, in order to reduce discomfort and enhance performance.





Finalist: InnerMap – Hoffman Estates High School

Students: Chloe Jefferson, Edlawit Zerihun, Errick Delaney

Mentor: Sheila Serafin of RIM Logistics

Company overview: InnerMap will design and create indoor mapping for large public buildings such as malls, airports, and stadiums. The software and app will provide consumers with step by step directions to where they need to go as well as allow retailers in the buildings to push advertising and promotions to potential customers nearby.


Cougars Announce New Head Boys Basketball Coach

Jim Maley has been named head boys basketball coach at James B. Conant High School, effective with the 2017-2018 season.  Maley takes over the program from long-time head coach Tom McCormack, who is retiring after 33 years as head coach, 32 years at Conant High School.  McCormack has a 576-342 (.627 winning pct.) all-time record, including 13 seasons with 20-plus wins, and his teams have made two “Elite 8” appearances, and have five Mid-Suburban League titles.

“In looking for a new coach, we knew we had very big shoes to fill,” said Conant High School Principal Julie Nowak.  “Coach Maley brings a combination of expertise, a proven record of success and most importantly a tremendous sense of passion and dedication to his players and the game.  He is a modern, thinking man’s coach who is as cerebral as he is athletic.  He is exactly what we were looking for to lead our boys basketball program.”

Maley, who also will teach physical education at Conant High School, has been the head varsity coach at St. Laurence High School (Burbank, Ill.) for the past three years, posting a 41-49 mark.  During that time, his Vikings delivered the school’s first winning season in 10 years, and won more games than the team had in the previous six seasons and more Chicago Catholic League games than the previous 10 years combined.  Prior to that, Maley spent three years (2011-2014) as head varsity coach at Kenwood Academy, taking the team to contenders in the Chicago Public League Red (top) Division and posting a 46-34 record.  More importantly, he put an academic program in place, helping his players increase GPAs while decreasing school absences.  Maley also spent two years as a sophomore coach at the school (2009-2011).  He began his coaching career at Glenbard West High School (Glen Ellyn, Ill.), serving as freshman coach (2008-2009) and varsity assistant coach (2007-2008).

“Conant High School is very excited to welcome Jim Maley as the new head boys basketball coach,” commented CHS Athletic Director John Kane.  “Coach Maley is aware of the great basketball tradition that has been built by retiring Hall of Fame Coach Tom McCormack.  The Conant High School family will certainly miss Coach McCormack, but we also look forward to a new era of basketball under the guidance of Coach Maley.  Jim is known for both his coaching prowess and his ability to use basketball as a tool to make his athletes better students and community members.  He has shown the ability to impact very diverse groups of students, and we’re excited about the mark he’ll make at Conant High School.”

Maley played basketball for one season at Northwestern University, starting 11 games as a freshman.  He earned his bachelor’s degree in sociology from the College of the Holy Cross (Worcester, Mass.), and his master’s degree in teaching from Concordia University (River Forest, Ill.).  In high school, Maley was a three-time all-conference and two-time conference player-of-the-year in the West Suburban Silver, helping his Lyons Township High School (La Grange, Ill.) squad to a state final four finish in 2001 and being named to the all-tournament team.

WATCH: Top District 211 Band, Orchestra Students Perform at Honors Orchestra Concert

Some of the most advanced District 211 band and orchestra students showcased their talents during a recent concert in front of the community. This year’s District 211 Honors Orchestra Concert was held at Palatine High School on Feb. 11.  Band and orchestra students District-wide were part of the performance. Watch the performance in the videos below: