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Area where the kindergarten building will be built.

Kindergarten Building Update

At the May 20 Board of Education meeting, the Board approved an official name for the kindergarten building that is being built adjacent to the Sullivan Community Center. Its official name is Hawthorn School for Young Learners. The groundbreaking ceremony took place on May 6. With the majority of the preliminary submission and permitting processes completed, work on the site has begun.

The first step was the dewatering process on the site to enable equipment access for tree and brush removal. This removal provided a wide-open site with clear site lines out to Aspen Drive. 

As the District began planning the construction fencing, it realized that the fencing would block sidewalk access along the front of the Sullivan Community Center, creating a barrier for the students and community members who typically walked along the east side of Aspen Drive to visit the library or the Sullivan Center. 

After discussing the pedestrian flow with the onsite police officer directing traffic and looking at the existing site conditions, the District decided to redirect the pedestrian traffic to the other side of the street both before school and at dismissal times. It stationed two additional crossing guards at key points on Aspen Drive that had identified crosswalks. Signage was posted to inform pedestrians that the side walk on the east side of Aspen was closed. 

The project is currently on schedule as detailed within the project timeline planner. The building is projected to be completed by the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year. Stay tuned for more updates over the summer.

community forum logo

Community Invited to Provide Input on Expansion Plans for Hawthorn Middle School North at July 2 Community Forum

Hawthorn School District 73 will hold a community forum for members of the public to provide input for the development of the plans to expand and renovate Hawthorn Middle School North.  The event will take place at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, July 2, at the Middle School North gym, 201 Hawthorn Parkway in Vernon Hills. 

At the community forum, the public will have the opportunity to review initial design plans and provide input. “Middle School North is here to serve the community,” said Interim Superintendent Mark Friedman. “We want this building to truly feel like home for middle school students, and we feel that community input on its new design is essential.” 

The expansion/renovation of Middle School North is one component of the District’s official Educational Facilities Master Plan (EFMP). Developed by a core team of community members, staff, administrators and facility leadership, the EFMP is a 10-year plan to support the district’s growing needs and long-term strategic plan. 

In addition to the expansion of Middle School North, the EFMP includes the construction of a kindergarten building adjacent to the Sullivan Community Center, as well as the expansion/renovation of Middle School South and the District’s elementary schools. The passage of a $48.7 million bond referendum in 2018 made it possible for the District to move forward with its EFMP plans.  Approximately $9.8 million has been budgeted for the expansion of Middle School North, a 90,700-square-foot building that was built in 1975. It has not received any new additions since then. 

The Board of Education recently selected Legat Architects, which previously designed the District’s Townline Elementary and worked on other District building renovations, to design the layout of the new Middle School North.  Projected to be completed by July of 2021, the expansion/renovation includes:

  • Seven new classrooms 
  • The addition of a full gym
  • Renovation of locker room and upper gym for fitness
  • Fine arts additions


Hawthorn School District 73 is a preschool through eighth-grade public school district serving more than 4,200 students. It serves all or portions of the communities of Vernon Hills, Mundelein, Libertyville, Indian Creek and unincorporated areas of Lake County, Illinois.

Promotion Ceremony

Congratulations to the Class of 2019

Middle School North and Middle School South held their promotion ceremonies on May 28 at Vernon Hills High School. Between two events, more than 450 students marched down the aisles, taking their last steps as middle school students. The Middle School North Orchestra, Middle School North 7/8 Grade Chorus, Middle School South Chorus and Hawthorn South Eighth Grade Band gave outstanding performances. The evening included addresses by the interim superintendents, school principals, school board members and student council presidents, as well as the presentation of certificates by board members and administration. Thank you to staff for organizing the evening events, an important milestone in the lives of our students.

Three retirees

Congratulations to Retirees

Congratulations to our 13 2019 retirees. Thank you for your many years of hard work and dedication to help District 73 meet its goal to “Inspire all students to embrace learning in an ever-changing world.”

  • Lynn Barkley – District Office
  • Mary Benton – Middle School South
  • Thomas Church – Elementary South
  • Elizabeth Gehlbach – Elementary North
  • David Kleinschmidt – Middle School South
  • Linda Knezovich – Middle School North
  • Tara Moncada – Elementary North
  • Marilyn Simon – Middle School North
  • John Ostrander – Middle School North
  • Virginia Banda – Townline Elementary
  • Julianon Gomez – Middle School South
  • Josie Hormel – Elementary South
  • Mariann Krippinger – Middle School North
volunteers talking with parents

Scores Attend Hawthorn PTO Open House

Scores of families and community members attended Hawthorn PTO’s first annual open house on May 22. The event was an opportunity for PTO volunteers to inform the community about the many programs and activities offered, including Art Adventure, Mother-Daughter Tea, Variety Show, Boys’ Night Out and Book Fairs. Parents also met Incoming Superintendent Dr. Peter Hannigan, who will officially begin at Hawthorn School District 73 on July 1, 2019. The mission of the PTO is to enhance the education of children by promoting the connection between home, school, and the community. For more information, contact: President@hawthornpto.org.

Winners of the Most Improved awards

Twelve Students Win Most Improved Awards

Congratulations to the 12 students in second, fifth and eighth grades who won this year’s “Most Improved” Awards. Dr. Joe Yomtoob, a former Hawthorn superintendent, and his wife, Mrs. Parichehr Yomtoob, presented the awards at a reception that took place prior to last night’s Board of Education meeting. The 2019 recipients are:

  • Precious O.
  • Landon B.
  • Patrick H.
  • Lara N.
  • Angeles S.
  • Ethan C.
  • Evelyn R.
  • Santiago R.
  • Sebastian C.
  • Nicole U.
  • Sydney S.
  • Gabriela G.

Several of the winners read their essays to the audience and received substantial applause in return. To apply for the award, students submitted essays on why they felt they deserved the award. They were asked to reflect on how they grew in the last three years of school. They were also asked to detail the steps they took to make improvements, who helped them, and how they planned to continue to grow.

Aspen Drive Map

Rerouting Pedestrian Traffic on Aspen Drive

As you know, this is an exciting time at School District 73! Thanks to your support, we have begun construction activities to build the new kindergarten building and begin the process of easing the stress on our programs and facilities. We are excited about the improvements and opportunities this will create for your child’s continued learning and exploration!

As you may have noticed, activity has already begun in the site directly adjacent to The Sullivan Center. As the preliminary site clearing concludes, the contractor will be installing fencing to secure the construction site to maintain a safe environment for all pedestrians in the general area. As a precautionary measure and to maintain the safety of your child, we will be routing all pedestrian traffic down the west side of Aspen Drive with crossing guards positioned both in front of The Sullivan Center as well as in front of the Aspen Library directly across from Aspen Pointe Drive. (The light green line on the map represents the closed walking path.) We understand and support the importance of these partnering facilities to all community members and want to encourage their use. The crossing guards will help to communicate this important message to all the children we serve as they seek to utilize facilities at The Sullivan Center as well as the library services. We ask that you please join us in sharing this important safety message with your children. Please see the attached map for clarification. 

Foundation Board members

Key to 73 Foundation Awards New Grants

The Key to 73, Hawthorn School District 73’s newly incorporated foundation, presented 10 grant awards totaling approximately $15,000 to 26 teachers during ceremonies last Thursday. This is the first year that the Foundation awarded grants, which will fund projects that will enhance the educational experiences for Hawthorn’s students. 

“We’re very excited to offer this opportunity to teachers,” said the Foundation’s President Jeremy Gong. “Our foundation is increasing the resources available to teachers to inspire and motivate students at all levels.  These grants will have a positive impact for years to come.”

Following is a list of the projects that will be funded through the grants:

  • Google Cardboard Viewers for two Middle School South eighth grade Language Arts and Social Studies teachers.
  • Childhood ObesityPrevention Resources/Materials for two Middle School South PE staff members.
  • Twelve Flexible Lighting Lamps and Charging Ports for two Middle School North seventh grade language arts teachers.
  • Flexible Classroom Seating for one Middle School South RTI specialist.
  • Bee-Bots for four Townline Elementary fourth grade teachers. 
  • Earthquake Technologies Supplements for five Elementary South fourth grade teachers.
  • 30 STEM Bins for three Townline Elementary first grade teachers.
  • A one-year subscription to Social Express Videos from Common Sense Media for an Elementary North social worker.
  • Flexible Seating for three Aspen Elementary teachers.
  • A contra bass bar for three Elementary North music teachers.

Several of the grants were made in partnership with Rust-Oleum.  All the teachers who submitted grant requests received funding.

The Key to 73 Hawthorn Education Foundation was established in 2017 to raise private sector funds to support the goals of the District’s Strategic Plan. The Foundation gives the District’s schools the ability to offer students programs and opportunities beyond those provided through regular funding. For more information visit the Foundation’s website.

Hawthorn School District #73 is a preschool through eighth-grade public school district serving more than 4,200 students. It serves all or portions of the communities of Vernon Hills, Mundelein, Libertyville, Indian Creek and unincorporated areas of Lake County, Illinois.

Teachers in groups

Early Release Day Offers Time for Collaboration

Early Release Days offer a block of time for teachers and staff to work collaboratively on the strategic work of the District. Overall, this collaborative work is important to student learning.

Students sorting books

Giving Back to the Community

Last night, Hawthorn Middle School South Student Council’s Executive Board donated their time to Bernie’s Book Bank. To prepare, they hosted a school wide book drive which collected over 1,000 books! These will be donated to kids in the Chicagoland area. Students had a lot of fun sorting donated books into three age groups! A special shout out to Mrs. Becker who joined the group as she works toward her 50 hour volunteer goal! The students were excited to work with her.