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Staff tab of our website.
Transition Program Hosts Third Annual
Creative Arts Festival
Transition Program celebrated their third Creative Arts
Festival on Wednesday, May 20, 2015! Family members,
friends, staff and students enjoyed viewing the
beautiful artwork that was proudly displayed!
Transition students worked individually, in classroom
groups, and in various electives throughout the year to
produce a wide variety of artwork. Mediums included
plaster, poetry, photography, colored pencil, markers,
crayons, chalk pastels, tempera and acrylic paint.
Savory and Sweet helped host the celebration and
provided a wide variety of delicious refreshments
prepared and served by students throughout the event.
We look forward to next spring’s festival, which
continues to grow each year!
The staff at Braun Educational Center participated in a
Jeans for Troops fundraiser to benefit veterans through
the GI Go Fund which raises money to help veterans find
employment, housing, and secure their educational and
health benefits. Braun staff made donations on May 18th
in exchange for a jean pass and together we raised
$141.00! Thanks Braun Staff!
Lemont High School Wins!
Junior Illinois Association of the Deaf (Jr. IAD) team
from Lemont High School came in first
place out of 10 teams at the Jr. IAD Volleyball
Tournament held on April 25th at Harper College.
Congratulations team! Coaches Judy Gray and Eric
Smithson led the team to victory.
In addition only 2 students were chosen from the 10
teams to be MVPs- Lemont High School students Ashley M.
and Ryan G.! Furthermore, students Greg S. and Abby B.
were selected as All-Stars. Lemont High School
demonstrated outstanding sportsmanship and represented
Lemont H.S. Student Matt Nachtwey
Named Student of the Month
Matt Nachtwey was picked as the
Freshman Student of the Month by the Learning Resource
Center. Matt is an honor roll student whose favorite
courses include Reading and Life Science. He visits the
Learning Resource Center nearly every day to read Manga
titles, and already has checked out more than 250 titles
this year. Regardless of whether he's in the LRC reading
a book for pleasure or working on an assignment, Matt is
there with a smile on his face.
Principal Eric Michaelsen and Matt Nachtwey
While he enjoys reading graphic
novels, he has his sights set on tackling more difficult
works. Matt plans on studying science, with an ultimate
goal of becoming an engineer and building things that
will help people with their problems. He does yoga to
keep his body in shape, and also enjoys working around
the house, hanging out with his family, and playing
Superintendent Dr. Mary
CD Program Sponsors Trash for Change
Mrs. Hendrickson, Mrs. Ford, and the
CD classroom at Ridge Early Childhood Center sponsored a
recycling program, "Trash for Change" over the past few
months. As of this Earth Day, their class collected and
recycled 280 pieces of plastic, 551 pieces of
paper/cardboard, 115 pieces of aluminum, and several
glass pieces. Their total count from January through
April 22 was 949 recycled items!
Mrs. Hendrickson and Mrs. Ford’s students earned $100
for their recycling efforts.
They are donating the funds to Virunga National Park in
DR Congo, Africa. Google is matching their donation.
That’s $200 for land conservation efforts, school
supplies for children, and protection of endangered
This project emphasized teamwork with their general
education friends at Ridge. Moreover, the CD students
had a creative learning experience practicing sorting,
counting, graphing, adding, money, and patience. To
celebrate their accomplishments, the classroom tie-dyed
t-shirts and enjoyed a pizza party. Our CD program
recognizes Mrs. Hendrickson,
Mrs. Ford, and their students for their great work!
Braun Students Help Raise Funds for
St. Jude's Children's Hospital
The freshman & sophomore
students of classroom 201 participated in a service
project to help raise money for St. Jude’s Children’s
Hospital. During the winter holiday season, they created
Reindeer Grams and sold them to the Braun/Project
Challenge/Maintenance population. During the month of
December, they worked hard creating an assortment of
these grams, consisting of hot cocoa, various chocolate
chips, and marshmallows. This was a huge hit! We had
more demand than supplies and time. Families of students
were sending in money to purchase these adorable grams
and help raise money.
Advertising, team work, sales, money management,
empathy, leadership, and emotional intelligence are some
of the skills that were developed through this project.
In total, we raised $134.00. We are so proud of all the
hard work these students & staff exhibited!
Please join us in celebrating
some of our staff members who have demonstrated one
extra degree of effort to achieve results:
Celebrating a Year of Achievement
On May 6th, the
Communication Development Program at Victor J. Andrew
High School held our annual Student Achievement Night.
This program recognizes our students accomplishments
over the course of the school year. Our students were
honored for their participation in various clubs,
sports, and general education classes. Our CD staff
members shared about our students’ success within their
academic class work, exhibiting strong character, and
leadership amongst their peers. Our graduates gave their
Senior Speeches to the crowd. They gave heartfelt
accounts of their growth within the Communication
Development Program and expressed their gratitude for
those that have helped them on their journey.
Mrs. Granato Wagner presented the
first annual Sharron Santefort Student Award. Mrs.
Santefort is a beloved CD teacher who demonstrated grit,
perseverance, and held herself and her students to high
expectations. Mrs. Santefort passed away earlier this
school year, but her influence and memory lives on. This
award is a tribute to her memory and recognizes students
who embody her spirit.
Mr. Janzon and Mr. Deacy gave a
music and movie presentation highlighting our students’
learning experience and encouraging our graduates to
“Change the World.” We expect they will! Congratulations
to the Class of 2015.
Thank you to our CD volunteers and
sponsors, Mrs. Kellermann and Mrs. GranatoWagner, for
hosting this special event for our students and their
A big DESTINY Plus 1 goes out to
Kelsey Broughton who was able to secure a very nice toy
shelf for her classroom with a little extra effort.
Broughton posted a request for such toy shelf on the
She had to submit a
justification outlining why her students would greatly
benefit from the shelf and how it would allow a more
accessible environment for her learners.
Ms. Broughtons proposal was
sponsored with just two weeks left in its publication.
Great job Ms. Broughton!
Kempke is DESTINY's +1
A big PLUS ONE goes out to
Karyn Kempke for accompanying the parent of one of her
8th grade students to visit potential high school
placements. Karyn's willingness to accompany the parent
has helped to reduce the stress and anxiety that comes
with a child transitioning from middle to high school
and into a completely new program.
Thank you, Karyn, for going above and beyond for our
students and their families!
Gerhardt and Wegner Inspire Future Educators
Oak Forest High School Project
Manager Mallory Platt announced today that the OFHS
Guidance Department sponsored a presentation about
teaching special education.
Featured speakers were Southwest Cook County Cooperative
DESTINY program special education teachers Brianna
Gerhard and Elizabeth Wegner, who teach in a special
wing at Oak Forest High School.
Gerhard and Wegner told students what a typical day
looks like in the special education program classroom.
Also, they discussed their likes and dislikes and
challenges they faced in their profession.
Another topic of the presentation was the educational
track they took to become special education teachers and
what materials and technology they used daily in their
jobs. Brianna Gerhard said that the most common pieces
of technology she uses daily in his classroom is an iPad.
Students use an app on the iPad that allows students who
have difficulty verbalizing answers because they can
press a button.
Also, Gerhard and Wegner discussed opportunities with
the special education career field and related careers.
Gerhard Takes on Homebound Student
A big "Plus 1" recognition goes out
to the DESTINY Program's newest special education
teacher, Ms. Brianna Gerhard. Ms. Gerhard has taken on
the Homebound Teacher role for one of our students
throughout the Winter months.
Because of Ms. Gerhard's dedication
to the success of our DESTINY students, this student
will receive high quality instruction even though the
weather prevents her from attending school. Thank you
Ms. Gerhard for your care, commitment and willingness to
give of your afterschool time!