D211 Post: New principal named at Fremd High School

At its February 18, 2021 meeting, the High School District 211 Board of Education approved the appointment of Mark Langer as principal at William Fremd High School, effective July 1, 2021. 

Mark Langer has been named as the new principal for Fremd High School.

Mr. Langer, currently assistant principal at James B. Conant High School, will take over the principalship from Kurt Tenopir, who will move into his new role as assistant superintendent for administrative services on July 1st, following seven years as principal at Fremd High School.

Mr. Langer began his teaching career as a science teacher at Palatine High School in 2003.  He was named the school’s dean of students for the 2011-2012 school year.  He served as 10-month assistant principal at Conant High School for the 2013-2014 school year, and then returned to Palatine High School as 10-month assistant principal for the 2014-2015 school year.  Mr. Langer was named 12-month assistant principal for discipline at Conant High School, serving in that capacity from 2015-2017, and was promoted to his current position as 12-month assistant principal for buildings & grounds and activity director in 2017.

“Mark Langer is a dedicated and thoughtful leader who embraces new opportunities allowing for every student to excel,” said Superintendent Lisa Small.  “He partners with students, staff, and parents to gain the perspective of all stakeholders as he ensures a positive impact on a school.  His reflective nature, open-minded leadership style, and dedication to excellence is a great match for the William Fremd High School community.”

Mr. Langer graduated from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in food sciences and human nutrition.  He earned his master’s degree in secondary education from National Louis University in 2003, and earned a second master’s degree in educational administration from Northern Illinois University in 2011.  In 2019, Mr. Langer was recognized by the Illinois State Board of Education with a Those Who Excel award in the School Administrator category.




D211 Post: October 25 is Principals Day in Illinois

Today marks Principal Day throughout the state of Illinois. This day is designed to recognize principals and the Illinois Principals Association for the work they do to create a successful learning environment for students across Illinois.

In District 211, we say thank you to our principals:

Tony Medina – Palatine High School

Kurt Tenopir – William Fremd High School

Julie Nowak – James B. Conant High School

Tim Little – Schaumburg High School

Josh Schumacher – Hoffman Estates High School

We thank them for the work they do daily serving our nearly 12,000 students. 

For more about National Principals Week, visit ilprincipals.org.




District 211 Schools Participate in National School Breakfast Week

Fred High School Principal Kurt Tenopir (left) and Assistant Principal Eric Dolen (right) serve complimentary breakfast during the school's Breakfast with the Principal event.

Fremd High School Principal Kurt Tenopir (left) and Assistant Principal Eric Dolen (right) serve complimentary breakfasts during the school’s Breakfast with the Principal event.

National School Breakfast Week helps encourage and educate students about why they shouldn’t skip what is considered the most important meal of the day. For many students in the country, including some in District 211, access to a proper breakfast isn’t always possible.

That is why District 211 participated in National School Breakfast Week, which promotes the importance of breakfast for students.

This year, all five high schools served breakfast during lunch on Wednesday, March 9. Any students who purchased the breakfast meal for lunch received a raffle ticket for a chance to win five free breakfasts.

Fremd High School hosted its Breakfast with the Principal event on March 10. Principal Kurt Tenopir and FHS staff handed out 378 complimentary breakfast meals to students.

Schaumburg High School now offers a Grab and Go cart for breakfast in their main entrance, and on March 9 Siegie, the school’s mascot, helped promote breakfast.

At District 211, both hot and cold breakfast entrees are served daily at all schools. Each school offers a minimum of seven breakfast options and approximately 1,100 breakfasts are served at school each morning. During first semester this school year, a total of 97,567 student breakfasts were served. The No.1 hot breakfast item across the district is chicken on a biscuit.

National School Breakfast Week was established in 1989 in coordination with the School Nutrition Association.  It provides schools with the opportunity to highlight and promote the importance of school breakfast. Research has shown that students who eat breakfast have improved memory, problem-solving skills, and creative abilities. School breakfast provides daily servings of fruit, whole grains, and low fat and fat free milk as well as meeting federal nutrition guidelines based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.




Fremd High School Earns Spot on U.S. News & World Report’s ‘Best High Schools’ List

silver_best_high_schoolsFremd High School was recognized as one of the top high schools in Illinois.

U.S. News & World Report’s “Best High Schools” list ranked FHS as one of the top schools in Illinois and the country. Awarded with a silver medal, the school is ranked No. 31 in Illinois, and overall No. 688 in the nation.

“This recognition is an acknowledgement that our District’s goals are appropriately focused on providing rigorous academic experiences for our students,” said Fremd High School Principal Kurt Tenopir. “Fremd is fortunate to serve a community that values and prioritizes a quality education.”

To compile the rankings, U.S. News & World Report teamed with RTI International, a global nonprofit social science research firm. The publication’s website states RTI implemented the U.S. News comprehensive rankings methodology, which is based on these key principles: that a great high school must serve all of its students well, not just those who are college bound, and that it must be able to produce measurable academic outcomes to show it is successfully educating its student body across a range of performance indicators.

Overall, 19,753 total public high schools across the country were eligible for ranking.

For more information on the methodology, please visit the website here.




District 211 Students Back to School, Ready for Innovative Learning

Students in an intermediate ELS class at Schaumburg High School begin learning about their iPad devices and how they will use them in class.

Students in an intermediate ELS class at Schaumburg High School begin learning about their iPad devices and how they will use them in class.

District 211 students are back to school and already preparing for another successful year. The first day of classes was Aug. 21. Despite the rainy weather, students and staff were in great spirits as they arrived at school, eager to find out what is new for the 2014-2015 school year.

“Like many people, I woke up extra early with the excitement of the first day of school,” said Dan Cates, superintendent at District 211.  “Many different groups of employees have worked throughout the summer to help make the first day of school as positive as possible.  Our teachers participated in a variety of professional development activities, particularly related to technology.  In addition to running a positive summer school, our administrators coordinated various construction projects, hired new staff members and planned upcoming initiatives.  Our transportation department coordinated extensively to ensure that students were able to get to school and our food services staff worked hard all summer to employ new meal standards on the first day.”

Senior students march in to Palatine High School on the first day of school.

Senior students march in to Palatine High School on the first day of school.

Students at Conant High School noticed a lot of changes by the time the first bell rang. The band and their new principal, Julie Nowak, greeted them as they walked through the doors. Not only has leadership changed at CHS, but also the school is celebrating its 50th anniversary with renovated main office areas, which have not been updated since the school originally opened in 1964.

Schaumburg High School had an energized morning entrance for its students. The band played outside as students arrived, and administrators greeted students at the main entrance, welcoming them back and wishing them a great start to the school year.

Many senior students at Palatine High School participated in the annual Senior March-In, even in the rain. They were led by drum majors and collectively arrived at the main entrance to showcase their school spirit. Palatine High School Principal Gary Steiger also welcomed them on their first day.

Students utilize the new student services area at Conant High School. The main office areas were renovated this summer.

Students utilize the new student services area at Conant High School. The main office areas were renovated this summer.

Fremd High School also noticed administrative changes. Kurt Tenopir, the school’s new principal, made sure he greeted students and introduced himself during the first day back to school.

Hoffman Estates High School had a Freshman Kickoff on Aug. 15, welcoming the newest Hawk students to the school. Then, the first day of school, administrators greeted students as they headed to their first class of the new school year. Students explored their iPad devices for One-to-One classes, and familiarized themselves with their new schedules.

“Our technology staff and our maintenance crews worked diligently all summer to double our bandwidth, double our internet access points and install new HD projectors throughout the District in order to make the first day smooth for every student and teacher. The professional development for our staff members and the improvements to our technology infrastructure helped to contribute to an excellent first day.”

Kurt Tenopir, the new principal at Fremd High School, welcomes sophomore student Karla Carmona Navarrete on the first day of school.

Kurt Tenopir, the new principal at Fremd High School, welcomes sophomore student Karla Carmona Navarrete on the first day of school.

Students at all schools noticed a change in school breakfasts and lunches. The District implemented a revised menu program that meets new USDA standards. The updated menu allows students an opportunity to choose from more than 10 nutritious entrée items. Palatine and Hoffman Estates High Schools participated in a pilot program last year, which has familiarized the schools with the revised menu.

In addition to Hoffman Estates High School, each school helped freshmen transition by holding freshman orientation sessions in the days leading up to the first day of school. During these individual school events, freshmen students were given the opportunity to acclimate to their new school, meet teachers, find their classes, and mingle at lunch picnics.

HEHS Freshman orientation helps new students familiarize themselves with the school prior to the first day.

HEHS Freshman orientation helps new students familiarize themselves with the school prior to the first day.

These extra measures all helped contribute to a smooth first day in District 211, and a positive environment to welcome students to school for the start of the new year.

“Each day of instruction and learning is important and the first day helped to set a very positive tone for the start of the year,” Cates said. “Many people throughout the District contributed to a very positive first day and we continue to work hard to ensure that this momentum carries well into the year.”




Fremd High School Names Next Head Wrestling Coach

Dan Ruettiger has been named Fremd High School’s next head wrestling coach.

Dan Ruettiger has been named Fremd High School’s next head wrestling coach.

Dan Ruettiger has been named Fremd High School’s next head wrestling coach.  Ruettiger, who will replace retiring 24-year veteran coach Ralph Cortez, has served as the Vikings’ assistant wrestling coach the past two seasons.

Ruettiger was an assistant wrestling coach and physical education teacher at Yorkville (Ill.) High School for one year (2011-2012), helping the Foxes to a second-place finish in the IHSA State Class 2A Finals and coaching three individual state medalists.  Prior to his stint at Yorkville High School, Ruettiger coached at Lockport East (Ill.) High School for a year (2010-2011) while completing his student teaching and working with three state medalists and one state champion.  In 2013, Ruettiger moved to Fremd High School, teaching physical education and serving as an assistant coach under Cortez.

“We’re excited to transition the Fremd High School wrestling program to Dan Ruettiger,” commented Principal-Elect Kurt Tenopir.  “He has some tough footsteps to follow with Ralph Cortez retiring, but Dan’s enthusiasm, energy, and love of wrestling make him the right person for this job.”

Ruettiger was a four-time state wrestling qualifier at Providence Catholic High School (New Lenox, Ill.), contributing heavily in one state title and two runner-up finishes.  He also earned FILA Cadet All-American, Fargo All-American, and Senior National All-American honors before continuing his collegiate wrestling career at Northern Illinois University.  While at NIU, he was a four-time varsity letter winner, a two-time Mid-American Conference place winner, and team captain his senior year.  He graduated from Northern Illinois University as a Scholar Baller (NCAA endorsed athlete with a 3.0 grade point average) in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in physical education and a minor in health.