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Coronavirus Updates and Resources

While Hawthorn School District 73 buildings are currently closed, we have implemented a Remote Learning Plan for students. The closure will continue through the end of the school year. Student, staff and stakeholder health, safety and well-being are our highest priorities. We continue to monitor the outbreak of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) very closely, and are committed to providing regular updates to the community. We are following guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health, Lake County Health Department and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Below are links to updates and resources from District 73 and public health officials. We will update this page regularly, as new information becomes available.

District 73 Updates

Updates/Information from Local, State and National Officials



Planned Internet Outage

Due to a planned upgrade all internet connections in and out of Hawthorn District 73 will be offline for approximately 2 hours beginning Thursday, August 8th at 4pm. This will encompass the District and all school websites being offline and our phone system will also be down during that time. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience.

Dr. Peter Hannigan

Hawthorn District 73 Announces Dr. Peter Hannigan as New Superintendent

At the January 14 board meeting, the Hawthorn School District 73 Board of Education named Dr. Peter Hannigan as the new superintendent of schools, starting July 1, 2019. Dr. Hannigan is currently the Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources at Schaumburg Consolidated Community School District 54, a pre-K through eighth grade public school district with 28 schools serving more than 15,000 students. The selection is the result of a national search conducted with the assistance of the Libertyville-based educational search firm BWP & Associates that produced approximately 40 qualified applicants from diverse geographic and professional backgrounds.  

“The Board of Education is thrilled and excited to have Dr. Hannigan join District 73 as its next superintendent,” said District 73 Board of Education President Sonali Patil. “After meeting several excellent candidates, we felt Dr. Hannigan was the best fit for the District 73 community. His experiences in Schaumburg closely reflect the qualities that were outlined in the superintendent search profile for Hawthorn 73. His enthusiasm, energy and passion for children will be well received by the students, staff and families in our community.”

Over the past 12 years, Dr. Hannigan has served in a variety of leadership roles at District 54. He was hired as the Principal of the District’s Everett Dirksen Elementary School in 2006, became the Principal of Margaret Mead Junior High in 2010, and was promoted to his current position in 2013. His accomplishments include: 

  • Implementing systems and structures to promote a collaborative culture
  • Developing fiscally responsible staffing plans that aligned to student achievement goals
  • Developing a long term facilities plan that included the creation of an early childhood center
  • Working collaboratively with the Board of Education and District employees to achieve the District’s Strategic Plan
  • Establishing a pipeline for recruitment and development of teaching and administrative talent

Dr. Hannigan began his career as a fourth-grade teacher at Gwendolyn Brooks Elementary School in Indian Prairie School District 204 in 1998. In 2003, he moved to Palatine Community Consolidated School District 15 where he initially served as a building assistant at Jane Addams School and later as Principal at Virginia Lake Elementary School. He also served as an adjunct professor at Argosy University, where he taught master and doctoral level human resources related classes from 2011 to 2013. 

Dr. Hannigan holds a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.), an Education Specialist (Ed.S.), and a master’s degree in educational leadership and administration from Northern Illinois University. He earned his bachelor’s degree in elementary education and teaching from Aurora University.

He and his wife currently live in Wauconda, Illinois. They have three children. 

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.

board members talking

Two Ways to Participate in the April 17 Community Engagement Meeting

The Board of Education will host a community engagement meeting on Tuesday, April 17. The Board is looking for your input about the District’s space concerns. Attendees will be able to either watch a slide presentation and video about the District’s space constraints, or meet directly with Board members to provide feedback and prioritize solutions. The meeting will take place at 7:00 p.m. at Elementary South, 430 N. Aspen Drive in Vernon Hills.

Community Input Sought

You are invited to a very special Board meeting on Wednesday, October 19 to receive important information about our proposed Educational Facility Master Plan (EFMP). As you may know, the district is continuing to experience growth and this EFMP will provide a long-term solution for both our urgent facility needs now as well as planning for continued growth and academic excellence into the future.

The Board hired DLR Group in March to evaluate our current facility conditions and to facilitate a Core Team made up of community members, staff, administrators and facility leadership to discuss and create solutions that address our needs. This presentation and conversation will be your first opportunity to give feedback to the Core Team on their recommended EFMP solution prior to Board consideration later this fall.

Please make arrangements to attend this very important presentation and conversation at Townline Elementary on October 19 at 7:00 p.m. We look forward to seeing you there.

Background Information

En Español

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Mark Your Calendars for Hawthorn’s Reverse Parades

Hawthorn will hold a series of “Reverse” car parades to celebrate students and close out the end of the school year. Teachers will cheer as students drive by in cars around the schools. The middle school parades will take place on June 1, while the elementary school parades will take place on June 3.

Middle School North and Middle School South
Monday, June 1:

Sixth grade gold team: 12:00-12:30 p.m.
Sixth grade blue team: 12:30-1:00 p.m.

Seventh grade gold team: 1:00-1:30 p.m.
Seventh grade blue tam: 1:30-2:00 p.m.

Eighth grade: 3:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Elementary Schools
Wednesday, June 3:

School of Dual Language: 9:30 a.m.
Lincoln Parade (at Aspen): 9:30 a.m.
Aspen Elementary: 11:00 a.m.
Townline Elementary: 11:00 a.m.
Elementary North: 1:00 p.m.
Elementary South: 2:00 p.m.

All families must stay in their cars throughout the parade. Students are encouraged to decorate their cars, make signs, wear their Hawthorn gear and show their Hawthorn pride.

library logo

Aspen Drive Library is Hosting a Last Day of School Homework Cafe

Aspen Drive Library is hosting a Last Day of School Homework Cafe on 6/3 at 4 p.m. It will be a chance for students to hangout virtually on Zoom with Miss Wyante and Miss Laura as well as their friends. It is a registered event. Students may register here: <>.

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Highlights of the May 21, 2020 Board of Education Meeting

On behalf of the Board of Education, Board President Robin Cleek thanked staff for organizing the curbside pick-up events. She also reminded the community about the wide variety of activities and accomplishments that took place this school year prior to the pandemic and the shift to remote learning. Her list of highlights included Dr. Hannigan’s arrival as the new superintendent and Elementary South’s designation as a National Blue Ribbon School. She thanked everyone for their hard work and dedication. 

Ted Haug with Legat Architects reviewed the schematic design for Elementary South. The Legat team met with building users to verify and reevaluate plans that were originally designed by DLR. While the original plan called for expansions in several different areas, Legat recommended locating all the additions in one area. He also discussed alternates, such as moving the main entrance of the building to the new addition, switching the Learning Resource Center with the administration area, new courtyard amenities and solar panels. The bids will determine whether some or all of the alternates are considered. The project is currently on budget and is approximately one month ahead of schedule. 

John Reid, Director of Instructional Technology, presented a proposal outlining device purchase recommendations for the 2020-2021 school year. Many of the District’s devices have reached the end of their life cycles. He proposed retiring some devices and purchasing a specific number of new devices for students and staff. For students, Chromebooks would be allocated to grades 4-8 at a 1:1 ratio. iPads would be allocated to grades K-3 at a 3:1 ratio. iPads would be allocated to Early Childhood and Pre-K. Older model Chromebooks would be allocated to maintain two carts at each elementary building and an inventory of approximately 300 devices for repair/replacement loaners across the district. 

Allison Stein, Director of Teaching and Learning, provided an update on the Guaranteed Viable Curriculum (GVC) Leadership Team. This initiative provides a system for teachers to collaborate and bring consistency and unity to the curriculum in our District. She reviewed the team’s progress over five sessions, in which the team members shared ideas and made decisions to benefit student learning and growth. For the 2020-21 school year, the team will be moved to maintenance mode with the goal to refine their work and support consistent implementation across the district. A second GVC Leadership Team will be launched with a focus on different content areas.

Abe Singh, Director of Finance and Business Operations, reported on the results of the food service bid. The approval process is overseen and regulated by ISBE. The District received two bids. The lowest bidder was Arbor, which has been providing services to the District for the past five years. This will be an action item at the June board meeting. 

Adam Palmer, Director of Human Resources, provided an update on the staffing plan for the 2020-2021 school year. At this time, the District has had 14 resignations, one request for a leave of absence and seven retirees. Offers have been extended to five candidates. The School for Young Learners is fully staffed. The human resources team is working diligently to fill 13 teacher vacancies. The pandemic has not slowed down the hiring process. 

Mr. Singh provided an update on construction projects. The Hawthorn School for Young Learners is under budget and on schedule. The building recently qualified for the ComEd Energy Efficiency Program, which will lead to substantial savings. The District was unable to move forward with the solar panels, but will reapply next year. The building is at 95% completion. The COVID-19 situation caused some factory delays, including the delivery of partitions and kitchen equipment. Mr. Singh also provided an update on Middle School North, which is currently on schedule and under budget. 

Dr. Hannigan said staff members have been busily preparing a series of curbside pick-up and drop off events at each school. Staff is in the process of finalizing plans for a virtual promotion ceremony that will look like a traditional ceremony with speeches and student recognition. A video release party will take place later in June. The last day of school for eighth grade students is June 3. Staff is planning a lot of fun activities for eighth grade students during the last week. The District launched a Return to Learning Committee of 23 individuals. The committee includes district and building administration, teaching staff, building and grounds staff, transportation and food services. The group is exploring options for the continuation of school in the fall. The District has not yet received instructions from the state, but is looking at three different models for the fall: an in–person model with safeguards in place; a hybrid approach that would include both in-person and remote learning; and continuing with a more enhanced version of remote learning. 

In her President’s Report, Ms. Cleek mentioned that parents had been contacting her with their thoughts about how the District should move forward in the fall. She said that people should feel free to email the Board, but most of the plans and decisions for the fall will be driven by the state, not by the Board. In June, the District will distribute a survey to receive feedback from families.

The list of action items included a contribution of $80,000 to the Vernon Hills Park District to facilitate less impacted pick up and drop off staging at the park district parking lot. The Board unanimously approved the contribution. 

Student wearing Hawthorn gear.

Eagles Are Everywhere during Spirit Week

Hawthorn students had great fun showing their pride during Spirit Week, which took place the week of May 18.

Staff pick up and return items.

It’s Day Two of Curbside Pick Up

Tuesday marked day two of Hawthorn’s curbside pick up series. As each car pulled up, staff seamlessly received and returned items while practicing social distancing. Although masks covered smiles, staff and parents were clearly happy to see each other again.

Staff at pick-up/drop-off event

Pick-up/Drop-off Events Go Smoothly

The first day of curbside pick-up/drop-off events at Hawthorn schools took place Friday morning. Parents collected items that remained at the schools and returned everything from library books to musical instruments. Since staff had previously organized and labeled all the items for pick up, each transaction only took a few minutes. Next Tuesday, the pick-up/drop-off events will continue.

students playing in a field

Hawthorn’s Virtual Field Day is May 29

Friday, May 29, is Hawthorn Plays, our first ever, virtual field day! While the PE and Health staff would love to see you in person, we will have to have fun in a different way this year. On Wednesday, May 27, the detailed agenda of the day will be shared with all of you. You’ll be able to choose one, a few, or all activities to participate in throughout the day. We hope you will find some that you will enjoy!

To get prepared for virtual field day, here is an equipment list of some “around the house” items that you can start collecting for the challenges. Please make do with what you have and don’t feel like you have to purchase anything. Remember this is all for FUN!

In conjunction with Hawthorn Plays, we are also having a home door decorating spirit week! This too is optional, but if you’d like to join in, take some time as a family and let’s see your Hawthorn Spirit! Post a picture on your social media with #HawthornDoorSpirit!!  We can’t wait to see your spirited doors! We look forward to joining together to have some fun next Friday! 


¡El viernes, 5.29.20 es nuestro evento Hawthorn Juega, nuestro primer día de campo virtual! Cómo los maestros(as) de educación física y salud le encantaría verte en persona, tendremos que divertirnos de una manera diferente este año.El miércoles, 5.27.20, la agenda detallada del día será compartida con todos ustedes. Podrá elegir una, algunas o todas las actividades para participar durante el día. ¡Esperamos que encuentres algunos que disfrutes!

Para prepararse para el día de campo virtual 5.29.20, se adjunta una lista de equipo de algunos elementos “alrededor de la casa” que puede comenzar a colectar para los desafíos. Usa lo que tienes y no sientas que tienes que comprar nada. ¡Recuerda que todo esto es por DIVERSIÓN!

¡Junto con Hawthorn Juega, también tenemos una semana de espíritu de decoración de puertas! Esto también es opcional, pero si te gustaría unirte, ¡tome tiempo en familia y demuestra tu espíritu de Hawthorn! ¡Publica una foto en tus redes sociales con #HawthornDoorSpirit !! ¡Estamos ansiosos por ver sus puertas enérgicas! ¡Esperamos verlos virtualmente para divertirnos el próximo viernes!

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Board of Education Meetings: May 21, 2020

Regular Board of Education Meeting will take place on Thursday, May 21, at 7:00 p.m. In addition, a Closed Session will immediately follow this meeting. The meetings will be conducted remotely. Public comments may be emailed to:

a student reading a book

Children’s Book Week Inspires Students to Read More Books

During National Children’s Book Week, teachers encouraged elementary students to read books. Many students accepted the challenge. They sent photos of themselves reading their favorite books to their parents, their siblings, their stuffed animals and even their pets. Established in 1919, Children’s Book Week is the longest-running national literacy initiative in the country.