The sixth, seventh and eighth grade band, orchestra and choir performed at Middle School North’s Music Assembly on December 19. Principal Robert Collins kicked off the event by reminding the audience about the dedication that goes into students reaching their personal best on their instruments. Among the pieces the orchestra performed was “Ludwig’s Tango.”
This year’s Snowflake event at Middle School South was a great success thanks to the help of 55 adult facilitators, 40 Vernon Hills and Libertyville high school students, 400 parents, and many volunteers. More than 370 seventh and eighth grade students from Middle School South, Middle School North and Oak Grove School attended this annual event, which encourages adolescents to make good choices and lead a healthy lifestyle.
The event was broken up into large group sessions, in which the students watched performances and presentations, and small group sessions, in which they engaged in activities led by high school students and adults. This year, Bizar Entertainment provided a musical production that conveyed positive and inspirational messages. During another large group session, motivational speaker Brad Hutig spoke about the challenges he faced when he lost both of his hands in a work-related accident. He had been a three-sport athlete and was eventually able to return to the football team. He told students that they could do things if they really wanted to do them, and encouraged them to find their way.
Toward the end of the evening, the parents attended a presentation from defense attorney Elliot Pinsel, while the students joined a dance. Mr. Pinsel reminded parents that they are accountable for underage drinking in their homes, he encouraged them to talk with their children and know what they are doing in order to prevent law suits and other negative consequences.
At about 10 p.m., students and parents were all smiles as they celebrated the close of another positive Snowflake experience.
On September 8, the eighth-grade students in Ms. Balmes’ and Mr. McKenzie’s Social Studies classes learned about the immigrant experience. The students enjoyed role playing processors and immigrants as they made their way through the checkpoints of “Ellis Island.” Many students were able to pursue the “American Dream” and were welcomed as new citizens, while others sadly were deported for reasons such as health or character flaws. All in all, the students truly enjoyed this hands on step back into time and gained a lot of insight as well from putting themselves into someone else’s shoes.
As you can tell from the smiles, the 2017 version of the combined Middle South/Middle North/VHHS Pep Band evening on Sept. 8 was filled with fun, friendship and music. What a great way for the eighth graders to get a taste of what’s next in high school band on Friday nights. The evening started with a gathering for a dinner provided by the VHHS Band Parents. After getting the band members all set up with music and rehearsing for 20 minutes, it was off to the stadium for an exciting evening together, cheering on the VHHS football team and all the other fun that goes with a Friday night game. The massed bands performed on the track for a packed crowd, much to the delight of everyone there. Following the performance, the Band Parents stepped up again with hot chocolate for everyone before heading home after a long, wonderful day.
The District welcomed three new teachers at the July 24 Board of Education meeting. They are (left to right) Jacquelyn Eisen, a first grade teacher at Elementary North; Amanda Krch, a special education teacher at Townline Elementary; and Carie Cohen, coordinator of special services on the North Campus.
With the help of volunteers, District staff members were able to finish assembling 1,500 Chromebooks a day ahead of schedule. About 25 people, including parents, spent the day unpacking, tagging and configuring the devices on July 12. At the start of the new school year, the District will equip all middle school students will Chromebooks for one-on-one personalized learning. The tool will help students track goals and learn content at their own pace.
Seven new teachers were introduced at the Board of Education meeting on June 26. They are (right to left) Rachel Calacci (Special Education Teacher at Elementary North), Karrie Hartnett (Science Teacher at Middle School North), Mary Donovan (Special Education Teacher at Middle School North), Megan Faith (ELL at Elementary South), Stephen Weidner (Physical Education Instructor at Middle School North), Carol Meuth (School Psychologist at Elementary North) and Samantha Willingmyre (Bilingual Teacher at Elementary North). They are looking forward to meeting their students in August.