D211 Post: Hoffman Estates Teacher Named Illinois Special Education Teacher of the Year

            Hoffman Estates High School Special Education teacher Katie McGarvey has been named the 2021 Illinois Special Education Teacher of the Year.  McGarvey was told of her selection during a meeting between with Principal Michael Alther, District 211 Superintendent Dr. Lisa Small, and representatives from the Illinois State Board of Education September 21.  

As part of this year’s Teacher of the Year program, the Illinois State Board of Education added three new categories including Bilingual Teacher of the Year, Early Childhood Teacher of the Year, and Special Education Teacher of the year.   With these additions, McGarvey became the state’s first Special Education Teacher of the Year recipient. 

              McGarvey said she was shocked when she was notified that she had been selected. 

            “I am so honored to have been selected,” McGarvey said.  “This was incredibly unexpected.  I am glad to have the opportunity to represent Hoffman Estates and District 211.”

            Hoffman Estates High School Special Education Chair Colleen Little said she was glad to see McGarvey’s hard work recognized.

            “Katie is all about service to others,” Little said.  “It’s been great to see her in action and to see her recognized.”

            McGarvey has been a teacher at Hoffman Estates High School for the past three years.  She said she hopes to continue to grow as a teacher.

            “For me, students come first,” she said.  “I love seeing them every day, which drives my passion for this job.  I hope to use that passion to continue to grow in a way that can always help the students.”

            With the announcement of her selection of Special Education Teacher of the Year, McGarvey joins a list of previous District 211 Teacher of the Year recipients Bob Grimm (2001, Fremd High School Science Teacher), Brian Curtin (2012 Schaumburg High School English Teacher), and Steve Elza (2014 Fremd High School Applied Technology Teacher).  McGarvey is a graduate of Palatine High School and received her Bachelor’s in Special Education from Loyola University Chicago.

D211 Post: Palatine High School Sets Date for Cupcakes for a Cause


          The Palatine High School Special Education Department has scheduled its biennial “Cupcakes for a Cause” on March 7 in the school’s cafeteria from 11:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.  Entry to the event is free and cupcakes will be available for $2.00 each or $20.00 for a dozen. 

            In addition to cupcake sales, the event features raffles and cupcake judging contests.  Funds raised will be used for special education programs such as Special Olympics, Best Buddies, and Pep Club.  Included in the day is free entertainment for children, including face painting. 

            Community members are invited to donate cupcakes for the event by going online to: http://www.palatinecupcakes2020.com/about.html.  Bakers can also submit cupcakes for the day’s cupcake judging contest.  All entries must be submitted by March 6.

D211 Post: Directions College and Career Fair Scheduled For Oct. 2


           Township High School District 211, in partnership with High School District 214, Barrington Community Unit School District 220, St. Viator High School, and Harper College will be holding the 11th Annual Directions College and Career Fair October 2, from 6-8 p.m. at the Forest View Educational Center (2121 Goebbert Road, Arlington Heights, IL 60005).  The fair is designed to provide students who receive special education assistance or Section 504 services, and their parents, with knowledge and resources needed to succeed after high school.

            During the evening, attendees will hear from a panel of speakers including Lynn Gallagher, Director of the Lynch Office of Disability Services at Loras College, Tim Ahlberg, Assistant Director of Admissions at Elmhurst Learning and Success Academy, and Kathleen Burley, Executive Director of GCAMP (Golden Corridor Advanced Manufacturing Partnership).  Parents and students will also have the opportunity to meet with representatives from more than 50 colleges and career fields. 

            For more information or for a list of attending colleges go to http://directionscollegeandcareerfair.org

D211 Post: The Future Begins Today-Informational Meeting Set for April 23

            Township High School District 211, in conjunction with High School District 214, Barrington Community Unit School District 220, and Northwest Suburban Special Education Organization (NSSEO) will hold The Future Begins Today at Palatine High School (1111 Rohlwing Rd. Palatine) April 23, from 6:00 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.  They event is for parents and guardians of individuals with a wide-range of developmental disabilities and mental health needs.

            The event will include a keynote panel titled “What’s Next-exploring options Beyond Transition Programing.  It will also include a transition resource fair with information from more than 50 adult service providers and community resource agencies.

             For more information or to download the event flyer click here.  For Spanish click here.


Seldom do mainstream and Special Education students work together in a sporting event.

The Amy Rudolph Basketball Tournament provides a unique opportunity for District 211 students to cheer one another on while raising funds for a worthy cause.

The tournament, in its 37th year, recognizes Amy Rudolph, a special education student, who passed away in November, 1982, of kidney failure. She was only 15 years old. Amy’s love of sports and her outgoing personality inspired those around her. Three months after this popular student passed, the school hosted a sporting event that continues every year in her honor. All profits directly benefit the National Kidney Foundation.

The 37th Annual Amy Rudolph Basketball Tournament will take place 6 p.m., Friday, Feb. 22nd at Hoffman Estates High School, 1100 W. Higgins Rd. Special Education students from Hoffman Estates High, Hersey High, Schaumburg High, Palatine High and Kirk Schools will participate. Mainstream students from Hoffman will also participate as referees, coaches, scorekeepers, and in other capacities.

A successful community event for 30 plus years, this tournament has already raised thousands of dollars for the National Kidney Foundation.

Tickets are $3.00 and are available in advance from HEHS, or at the door.

D211 Post: HEHS To Hold 9th Annual Cupcakes with Friends

            Hoffman Estates High School’s Special Education Department will hold their 9th annual Cupcakes with Friends October 27 from 11:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.  Entry for the event is free and open to the public.

            During the day, cupcakes will be available for sale at a cost of $2 each or $20 per dozen.  The proceeds from the event will be used for HEHS Special Education programs including Best Buddies, Special Olympics, and Hawkettes Cheer Team among others.  For kids, the event offers face and nail painting, crafts, and cupcake decorating.

            Area bakers who want to donate cupcakes or wish to enter the cupcake contest can do so through the event’s website www.hehscupcakes.weebly.com.  Registry is open through October 15.

D211 Post: Hoffman Estates Students Get Lesson in Public Transportation

Edward Madden, Coordinator of Public Outreach for Pace, talks to Hoffman Estates High School students about riding public trasportation during a “Hop on the Bus to Independence” workshop.

            Representatives from Pace Bus and JJs List, held a “Hop on the Bus” training at Hoffman Estates High School.  During the 90-minute session, students in Hoffman Estates High School’s special education department learned how to independently use public transportation.

            “This training is really setting a foundation for the future,” said Edward Madden, Coordinator of Public Outreach for Pace.  “Whether they use a fixed-route bus now or in 15 years we want them to have a positive experience.”

            Hoffman Estates High School Speech Pathologist Maria Luciani said the program was an important part of teaching the students independence as well as giving them an ability to access the community.

            The program started with an overview of public transportation within the Chicagoland area.  A JJs List representative walked students through accessing a variety of resources including bus and train schedules.

            After the classroom discussion, students walked out to a Pace bus in the school’s parking lot.  At the bus, Madden, and other Pace representatives discussed details of bus operations and safety with the students.