News

09.15.16

The Foundation for Excellence must cancel its “Village of Screamfield” haunted house this year due to logistical challenges beyond its control.

The Foundation sincerely thanks all of you, your students and families for your support of the haunted house over the last few years. It was great fun, and raised a lot of money for our students, staff and schools.

Please throw away any fliers or posters that you may have, and remove any mention of the haunted house from your announcements.

Apologies for any inconvenience this will cause.

 

08.12.16

Plainfield – Twenty 2016 District 202 graduates received special college scholarships through the Plainfield Foundation for Excellence based on their community service, academic achievement and professional goals.

The awards include the Foundation’s Community Service Scholarship; and the Martens Family Science and Eichelberger Public Safety scholarships, which the Foundation administers on behalf of the awards’ sponsors.

The Foundation for Excellence is District 202’s private fundraising organization. It has raised and donated more than $400,000 since 1983 to support District 202 students, staff and programming through grants, scholarships and special funding.

Twelve District 202 graduates each won $2,000 Plainfield Foundation for Excellence Community Service Scholarships this past spring based on their involvement in their schools and the community.

These students won Community Service Scholarships:

*         PHSCC: Claire Hotchkin, Noah Kraulidis, Zachary Ryan

*         PSHS: Jessica Escutia Calderon, Natalie Roberto, Moises Rodriguez

*         PNHS: Lauren Dvorak, Henry Ridder, Megan Hansen

*         PEHS: Abigail Floresca, Marissa LaPorte

*         PLAINFIELD ACADEMY: Sariyah Stampley

Four graduates received $2,500 Martens Family Science Scholarships, given in memory of former Plainfield resident Fred Martens, who was a nuclear engineer at Argonne Labs. Both Martens children graduated from Plainfield High School (now Plainfield High School – Central Campus.)

The Martens Family Science Scholarship is given annually to students who intend to major in a physical or life science, engineering, or math at a fully accredited state or private university that offers a doctorate in their chosen field. This year’s winners were:

*         PHSCC: Rebecca Parmenter — majoring in pre-med

*         PSHS: Kimberly White — majoring in biomolecular engineering

*         PNHS: Paul Wilkins — majoring in physics

*         PEHS: Dina Nashed – majoring in health sciences

Finally, four students who intend to major in fire service, public safety or medical and emergency services each received Eichelberger Public Safety Scholarships.

The Plainfield Fire Department will award these $500 scholarships annually to District 202 students who live in the Plainfield Fire Protection District.

The award was created this year to honor former Plainfield Fire Chief John Eichelberger, who retired in 2015 after 40 years of service to the department.

The inaugural Eichelberger winners were:

*         PHSCC: Lauren Tobolic

*         PNHS: Matthew Coffey, Megan Hansen and Nathan Leff

Information and applications for these scholarships for the 2016-17 school year will be available to students in early November.

 

Plainfield – In her 19 years with District 202 as a teacher, principal and district administrator, Joan Woolwine has seen just about every issue common to public education: radical growth, political shifts, academic trends, community change, opening new schools, boundary changes and severe budget cuts.

Not to mention the myriad “normal” challenges that students bring to school every day.

Yet she has never stopped loving the job, thanks to the thousands of students and families she has served, and the staff she has worked with over the years.

That enthusiasm – and her encyclopedic knowledge of education – are largely why she is the recipient of the 2016 Walter G. and Juanita F. Niehus Award.

Woolwine, the director of elementary curriculum and instruction will receive the prestigious award at the District 202 Board of Education’s June 13, 2016 regular meeting.

The Niehus Award was established in 1986 to honor the legacies of former District 202 Superintendent of Schools Walter Niehus and his wife, respected former teacher Juanita Niehus.

It is given each year to either certified personnel or non-certified staff and support staff members, nominated by their peers, who show extraordinary commitment to district students, parents and employees.

Woolwine, who is retiring this month after 28 years in public education is the 31st annual recipient of the Niehus Award. The Plainfield Foundation for Excellence administers the Niehus award for the Niehus family.

“Joan Woolwine is a model professional educator and leader who is respected, admired and loved in District 202,” said Foundation Chairperson Margie Bonuchi.

“The Niehus Award couldn’t go to a more deserving person, and the Foundation is proud to honor her on behalf of the Niehus family,” she said.

Woolwine came to District 202 in 1997 after working as a pre-kindergarten to third grade teacher and as the founder, director and teacher of a private elementary school funded by the Lily Foundation.

She started her District 202 career at Central Elementary School as a reading recovery/reading specialist. Three years later she became Assistant Principal of Meadow View Elementary School, helping to open the school in 2000, during the decade of tremendous student growth in the district.

In 2001, Woolwine became Assistant Principal at Grand Prairie Elementary School. She served in the position one year, then as Grand Prairie’s principal for three years.

Woolwine then helped to open Charles Reed Elementary School as principal in 2005. She was named Director of Elementary Curriculum and Instruction in 2008.

Creekside Elementary School third grade teacher Denise Malik nominated Woolwine for the Niehus Award. Woolwine’s “knowledge of general curriculum, ELL, Gifted and Special Education is unsurpassed by any other district employee,” Malik wrote.

Malik also praised Woolwine’s dedication to the community through her work with community groups championing numerous causes, including adult literacy and providing support, encouragement and information to mothers who choose to nurse their babies.

“Joan Woolwine is an outstanding administrator and mentor as well as a genuine supporter of students and teachers throughout our district,” Malik wrote. “She is an invaluable asset and a key contributor to the success of District 202.”

Her service to District 202 came at a uniquely-challenging time in the district’s history, as it underwent tremendous growth and community change.

Woolwine recalled being hired to improve literacy when the district had only eight schools (compared to 30 now). “It was a challenge and an enormous gift,” she said. “Knowing that my work allows a child to develop a love of literacy is truly my greatest joy.”

However, that growth ended in 2007, and was immediately followed in 2008 by the recession which forced District 202 to cut 350 full-time positions to save $45 million over four years. Those cuts included the Reading Recovery program.

Woolwine understood the need to help reduce the district’s budget deficit, but said she did her part with a heavy heart. “However, I knew that the Board was as devastated as I was (but the) financial well-being of the district had to be protected,” she said.

Still, Woolwine said she has loved her time with District 202.

“I feel so very honored to have been given so many awesome opportunities. The children, teachers, administrators and support staff make me say on a daily basis I love my job,” Woolwine said.

“It is a great district because of great people.”

 

Nine d202 teachers get Foundation professional development awards

Plainfield – Nine District 202 teachers will each get to take part in special professional growth programs this summer with the help of a special grant designed to support innovative teaching.

The Plainfield Foundation for Excellence created the Professional Development Awards five years ago to help individual teachers in the classroom expand and improve their classroom skills and knowledge. The Foundation received 43 applications this year.

The awards of up to $500 each can be used to pay for registration fees, tuition, conference/class related materials, travel, lodging, meals or other professional development expenses for classes or programs to be taken in summer 2016.

“The Foundation for Excellence Professional Development Awards help our teachers be true, lifelong learners which in turn supports their work to help our students learn and grow,” said Foundation Chairperson Margie Bonuchi.

This year’s winning teachers represent each “House” (District 202’s internal feeder system that organizes schools by high school) and each educational level. As well, the awards were chosen to support a broad range of professional development areas.

The 2016 Professional Development Award winners are:

  • Melissa Aubuchon, Indian Trail Middle School – Aubuchon will take a course offering teaching strategies and tools for exceeding expectations of the Common Core state learning standards.
  • Cindy Cook, Crystal Lawns Elementary School — Cook will take a course focusing on bullying among girls and female empowerment.
  • Elaine Diveley, Plainfield East High School – Diveley will use her grant to allow her to present at the American Association of Teachers of French annual national convention.
  • Laura Dovalovsky, Plainfield High School – Central Campus – Dovalovsky will take a course on ways to make STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) curriculum relevant.
  • Megan Madigan, Freedom Elementary School – Madigan will attend the Kodaly Level 3 music education workshop.
  • Dana Rakoci, Bonnie McBeth Learning Center – Rakoci will take a class focusing on emotions and learning for younger students.
  • Kristen Rhodes, John F. Kennedy Middle School – Rhodes will take a course teaching how to work with oppositional, defiant and disruptive children and adolescents.
  • Megan Rich, Grand Prairie Elementary School – Rich will take programs focusing on service learning at the American Speech and Hearing Association’s summer conference.
  • Megan Smith, Drauden Point Middle School – Smith will attend the Tri-County Summer Agricultural Institute to learn how Will County contributes to the “farm to table” process, and to learn how food, fiber and renewable resources are produces.

The Foundation for Excellence is a private organization that has been supporting District 202 schools, students and staff with grants, scholarships and financial support for special programming since 1983.

Along with scholarships and grants, the Foundation has also supported special District 202 programs including a District Art Gallery, the Great Read community reading program and the 1847 Schoolhouse Restoration.


Plainfield – Seven District 202 high school juniors will be able to see what their futures might hold with the help of a Horizon Grant from the Plainfield Foundation for Excellence.

The Horizon Grant program awards students up to $1,000 each to help pay for summer learning enrichment experiences that broaden their academic horizons and explore areas of interest. The grants can be used for summer workshops, classes, field studies, internships or conferences during the summer before their senior year.

This is the fourth year that the Foundation for Excellence has awarded these special grants. Thirty-three students applied for grants this year.

“The Foundation is very excited and happy to award these grants because they help young people ‘try out’ their future,” said Foundation for Excellence Chairperson Margie Bonuchi.

“The Horizon grants are unique because they help students decide what the rest of their lives could look like,” she said. “We are very proud of all of the students who applied this year and wish our winners great luck and success this summer and beyond,” Bonuchi said.

The 2016 Horizon Grant winners are:

* Caitlin Arquines (Plainfield East High School) – plans to attend Berklee College of Music’s Five Week Summer Performance Program in Boston.

* James P. Fox Jr. (Plainfield South High School) — plans to attend Milwaukee School of Engineering’s “Discover the Possibilities” program for health-related science and engineering.

* Victoria-Jo Gapuz (Plainfield South High School) – plans to attend the “Camp Neuro” program about brain research at Rush Medical College in Chicago.

* Alexander Konczak (Plainfield North High School) – plans to attend the United States Naval Academy Summer Seminar in Annapolis, Maryland.

* Kyle McCoy (Plainfield East High School) – plans to attend the 2016 Career Discovery Program in Architecture at the University of Notre Dame.

* Emily Schroeder (Plainfield North High School) – plans to attend the Math and Science Scholars program at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

* Benjamin Thoms (Plainfield South High School) – plans to attend the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Fire Science program at the University of Wisconsin in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

The Foundation for Excellence is a private organization that has been supporting District 202 schools, students and staff with grants, scholarships and financial support for special programming since 1983.

Along with scholarships and grants, the Foundation has also supported special District 202 programs including a District Art Gallery, the Great Read community reading program and the 1847 Schoolhouse Restoration.

For more information about the Plainfield Foundation for Excellence or to make a donation, please visit: www.d202foundation.org<http://www.d202foundation.org/>

NEWS
Plainfield Fire Dept. creates Eichelberger public safety scholarship

Plainfield – The Plainfield Fire Department has created a new scholarship to help District 202 high school students looking to major in fire service, public safety or medical and emergency services.

The Chief John Eichelberger Public Safety Scholarship will award $500 annually to four District 202 students who live in the Plainfield Fire Protection District.

The scholarship honors former Plainfield Fire Chief John Eichelberger, who retired in 2015 after 40 years of service to the department.

“We created the scholarship to give kids a chance to further their education and to give back to the community,” said Plainfield Deputy Chief Jon Stratton.

“Public safety is one of the most rewarding fields you can work in, helping people during one of their worst times and helping them get through those times,” Stratton said.

Recipients will be chosen based on grades, financial need, and acceptance and proof of full-time enrollment at an acceptable secondary institution. Applications must be received no later than 5 p.m. Friday, March 11, 2016.

The Plainfield Foundation for Excellence will administer the scholarship as it does several others on behalf of non-school organizations and individuals. The Foundation is a private organization that funds numerous student and staff scholarships and grants, special programming and community events.

“This new scholarship is another very thoughtful gesture by the District 202 community to help our students succeed in life,” said Foundation for Excellence Chairperson Margie Bonuchi.

“The Foundation is proud to help the Plainfield Fire Department honor Chief Eichelberger and support students looking to enter this important career,” she said.

Students should contact their high school guidance counselors for more information about this scholarship and many others.

 


October 7, 2015                                                    Tom Hernandez

Plainfield – District 202 high school juniors once again have the chance to broaden their academic horizons with the help of a special grant from the Plainfield Foundation for Excellence.

For the fourth year, the Foundation will award up to five Horizon Grants worth up to $1,000 each to help current high school juniors to defray the cost of a summer extended learning experience.

The grants are available to students from all four District 202 high schools and Plainfield Academy, the district’s alternative high school.

Horizon Grant applications are due April 18, 2016. Winners will be announced by May 6, 2016.

The Foundation introduced the Horizon Grants in 2012 as part of its mission to support academic innovation for District 202 students.

Last summer, eight high school juniors took part in enriching learning experiences with the help of the Horizon Grant.

These students traveled to Indiana, California, Ohio, North Carolina and various locations in Illinois for summer study opportunities in their fields of interest.

“The Foundation for Excellence is always looking for innovative ways to help District 202 students learn and grow,” said Foundation Chairperson Margie Bonuchi.

“The Horizon Grants are a great way to give our students a special learning opportunity that they otherwise may not get,” Bonuchi said.

The Foundation for Excellence over the last 32 years has raised and contributed nearly $400,000 to support District 202 students and staff in the form of grants, scholarships and special funding.

The Foundation has also supported special programs including a District Art Gallery, the Great Read community reading program and the 1847 Schoolhouse Restoration.

The Foundation for Excellence has shifted its focus toward district-wide initiatives as District 202 has grown to include 30 schools and nearly 28,000 students.

“Village of Screamfield” haunted house back with more hometown scares

October 6, 2015
Ken Erdey
screamhaunts@gmail.com

Plainfield – The Plainfield Foundation for Excellence will present its sixth annual “Village of Screamfield” haunted house in conjunction with the Plainfield Police Department and the Plainfield Park District, from October 16-25, 2015.

The event will be held in the basement of the Police Department, on 143rd Street between Route 30 and Van Dyke Road in Plainfield. All proceeds support District 202 schools through the Foundation for Excellence.

The Foundation for Excellence is a private fundraising organization supporting District 202 students, staff, schools and community.

“Village of Screamfield” includes a “full scare” traditional haunted house appropriate for middle and high school-age students and adults. The full scare event will be open from 6-10 p.m. October 16, 17, 23, 24 and 25. Tickets for the Full Scare are $10.

“Village of Screamfield” will also feature “Mayor Scream’s Screamfest,’ a family-friendly event perfect for elementary-age students. The Family Friendly event will be held from 2-5 p.m. October 17 and 23, 2015.

Mayor Scream’s Screamfest will include a mild haunted house, trick-or-treating, face painting, games, a hayrack ride and more. Tickets for Mayor Scream’s Screamfest are $5. Admission is free for children 4 years and younger.

Since 1983 the Foundation for Excellence has raised and contributed more than $300,000 to support District 202 students and staff in the form of grants, scholarships and special funding. It has also supported special programs including a District Art Gallery, the Great Read community reading program and the 1847 Schoolhouse Restoration.

For more information about the “Village of Screamfield” haunted house, please email  screamhaunts@gmail.com

 

Plainfield – Plainfield High School – Central Campus Athletic Director Dave Stephens is the recipient of the 2015 Walter G. and Juanita F. Niehus Award.

Stephens received the prestigious award at the District 202 Board of Education’s June 8, 2015 regular meeting.

The Niehus Award was established in 1986 to honor the legacies of former District 202 Superintendent of Schools Walter Niehus and his wife, respected former teacher Juanita Niehus.

It is given each year to either certified personnel or non-certified staff and support staff members, nominated by their peers, who show extraordinary commitment to district students, parents and employees.

Stephens is the 30th annual recipient of the Niehus Award. The Plainfield Foundation for Excellence administers the Niehus award for the Niehus family.

“Dave Stephens has been an extraordinary teacher, administrator and ambassador for District 202 his entire career, and he certainly deserves this recognition. We are proud to honor him on behalf of the Niehus family,” said Foundation Chairperson Margie Bonuchi.

Stephens has worked his entire career in District 202. He started in 1987 and taught 5th grade at  Central Elementary for nine years while also coaching football and basketball at (then) Plainfield High School.

He then taught 5th grade for five more years at Walker’s Grove Elementary School before moving to Timber Ridge Middle School for two years, and Heritage Grove Middle School for three years. He has worked at PHSCC the last nine years.

PHSCC Physical Education department chair Lisa Klaas nominated Stephens for the award because, as she said, he represents everything good about Plainfield High School.

“Dave does so much more than his job title says,” Klaas wrote. “He is the positive force behind all things ‘Wildcat’. Every student in the building knows Mr. Stephens and they love and respect him.”

She cited Stephens’ involvement in The Green Machine fan club, all athletics, the Mr. PomCat competition, being in charge of building and grounds operations for the school and working with custodial and maintenance to ensure PHSCC is well maintained, among other activities and responsibilities.

“Every staff member knows Mr. Stephens too and they love him. He is a great leader because he is a great communicator. It has been an honor and a pleasure to work with Dave,” said Klaas, who is retiring this month.

Stephens said he is proud to be getting the Niehus Award, but deflected praise about himself.
“Awards are for teams, and it has been my honor to be on a great team, working for District 202 for the last 28 years,” Stephens said.

 


http://www.theherald-news.com/2015/05/11/eleven-district-202-teachers-in-plainfield-get-professional-development-awards/ahwexel/

 

Eleven D. 202 teachers get professional development awards

Plainfield – Eleven District 202 teachers will each get to take part in special professional growth programs this summer with the help of a special grant designed to support innovative teaching.

The Plainfield Foundation for Excellence created the Professional Development Awards four years ago to help individual teachers in the classroom expand and improve their classroom skills and knowledge. The Foundation received 47 applications this year.

The awards of up to $500 each can be used to pay for registration fees, tuition, conference/class related materials, travel, lodging, meals or other professional development expenses for classes or programs to be taken in summer 2015.

This year’s winning teachers represent each “House” (District 202’s internal feeder system that organizes schools by high school) and each educational level. As well, the awards were chosen to support a broad range of professional development areas.

The 2015 Professional Development Award winners are:

Ellen Baily, Eagle Pointe Elementary School – Bailey will take an online course that will help develop critical thinking and questioning skills specifically for he early primary grades.

• Gina Geraci, Plainfield South High School – Geraci will take an online master’s course in Spanish literature that also focuses on integrating technology into the curriculum.

• Justin Greene, John F. Kennedy Middle School – Green will attend a summer teacher institute at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. focusing on ways to make students more socially aware.

• Diane Higgins, Plainfield North High School – Higgins will attend the Midwest Teachers Institute and take a class focusing in essential Common Core strategies for reading and writing.

• William Johnson, Plainfield High School – Central Campus – Johnson will attend a workshop at the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago, teaching ways to increase cross-cultural education.

• Stephanie Manno, Ira Jones Middle School – Mate will attend a workshop in Monterey, California focusing on robotics and engineering.

• Linda Merdian, Lincoln Elementary School — Merdian will take an online course focusing on the multicultural classroom through the University of California-La Verne.

• Vanessa Pollitt, Eagle Pointe Elementary School – Pollitt will attend the Literacy Retreat 2015 in Oakbrook Terrace to learn new literacy techniques regarding complex thinking, and related topics.

• Angela Ramey, Charles Reed Elementary School – Ramey will use her grant to gain knowledge about gifted education through the University of Iowa’s Belin-Blank Center for Gifted and Talented Education.

• Meghan Sheets, Timber Ridge Middle School – Sheets will attend the “One Clip At a Time” service learning program in Chattanooga, Tennessee that provides training on ways to teach students tolerance, acceptance and understanding of cultural differences. The program uses World War II-related content aligned with the Common Core language arts curriculum.

• Wendy Traina, Wesmere Elementary School – Traina will take part in a distance learning course called “Leading Intentional Talk with Young Mathematical Students. The program provides strategies for planning and improving student involvement in math discussions.

“The Professional Development Awards have helped District 202 teachers find new and unique ways to learn new and innovative skills and knowledge, and that ultimately helps our students learn more and improve their academic achievement,” said Foundation Chairperson Margie Bonuchi. “We are very happy and proud to provide this special support to our teachers,” she said.

The Foundation for Excellence is a private organization that has been supporting District 202 schools, students and staff with grants, scholarships and financial support for special programming for 31 years.

Along with scholarships and grants, the Foundation has also supported special District 202 programs including a District Art Gallery, the Great Read community reading program and the 1847 Schoolhouse Restoration.

 

Eight D. 202 juniors “experience a dream” with Horizon Grants

Plainfield – Eight District 202 high school juniors will be able to experience a dream this summer, with the help of a Horizon Grant from the Plainfield Foundation for Excellence that helps for summer learning enrichment experiences.

The Horizon Grant program awards students up to $1,000 each to help broaden their academic horizons and explore areas of interest through summer workshops, classes, field studies, internships or conferences during the summer before their senior year.

This is the third year that the Foundation for Excellence has awarded these special grants. Last year, 23 students applied, and seven received a Horizon Grant. This year, 47 students applied.

“The Horizon Grant is an exciting program for the Foundation because we get to help these wonderful students do something that will help them along the path to future achievement in their lives in a very real way,” said Foundation for Excellence Chairperson Margie Bonuchi.

“We are very proud of each of these students, and all 47 who applied, for their vision and courage,” Bonuchi said. “Congratulations and best luck this summer and beyond as they continue pursuing their studies and careers,” Bonuchi said.

The 2015 Horizon Grant winners are:

From Plainfield High School – Central Campus

  • Robert Pavlik – plans to attend a Minority Engineering Program at Purdue University. The program exposes students to life as an engineering student at Purdue and professional development workshops.

Alec Machacek — plans to attend a program about 3D engineering and processing at Augustana College.  Students will learn the basics of computer-aided design/3D modeling, the requirements and limits of 3D printing and will 3D print an item of their own design.

From Plainfield South High School

  • Jack Keating – plans to attend the UCLA Digital Filmmaking program. Students will learn basic techniques of digital production and postproduction while maintaining an understanding of storytelling.
  • Madeleine Monnot – plans to attend the “CSI: Augustana” program at Augustana College. Students will be introduced to the scientific reasoning behind forensics, focusing on DNA, bones and trace evidence.

From Plainfield North High School

  • Siobhan Conners – plans to attend the “Notre Dame Summer Scholars Law Track” program at the University of Notre Dame. Participants will be exposed to the many facets of the American legal system through exploration of the United Stated Constitution as well as current legal issues.
  • Mary Pat Robey – plans to attend the Illinois Summer Youth Music Senior High Orchestra Camp at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Students will participate in full ensemble and sectional rehearsals, master classes, elective courses and study new as well as standard orchestral literature in repertoire classes.

From Plainfield East High School

  • Jared Bryson – plans to attend the LEAD Summer Business Institute at Duke University. Students will learn business principles and skills needed for successful business careers from an international, cross-sector collaborative of premier United State corporations, government agencies, higher education and non-profit partnerships.

Nathan Hohe – plans to attend the Summer Honors Engineering Camp held at the University of Dayton.  Students will learn about chemical, civil, electrical and mechanical engineering through hands-on experiences and group projects.

The Foundation for Excellence is a private organization that has been supporting District 202 schools, students and staff with grants, scholarships and financial support for special programming for 31 years.

Along with scholarships and grants, the Foundation has also supported special District 202 programs including a District Art Gallery, the Great Read community reading program and the 1847 Schoolhouse Restoration.


“The Story of Rock Music” closes 2015 Great Read program
Plainfield – From its blues-based roots in the 1950s to the British Invasion of the 1960s; from disco to punk in the 1970s; from new wave in the 1980s to grunge in the 1990s, and from soft rock to heavy metal, few things have influenced and defined pop culture in the last 70 years like rock and roll.

Musician, comedian and entertainer Skip Griparis will bring that point to life in his show, “From Fad to Forever! Skip Griparis Sings Rock’s Story” at the Grand Finale of this year’s Great Read community literacy program.

Griparis will perform at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 29, 2015 at the Fountaindale Public Library, 300 W. Briarcliff Road, Bolingbrook. This all-ages show is free.

“Pop culture”-themed refreshments will also be served, and the winners of the Great Read art contest and fan participation free drawings will be announced as well.

With his remarkable 3 1/2-octave voice, dynamic guitar and insightful humor, Griparis explores and recreates rock’s innovators, from pre-Elvis to the Beatles and beyond.

The 2015 Great Read community literacy program is presented by a consortium of area public and private organizations to promote literacy, reading, conversation and community in the greater Plainfield area. This year the program focuses on the tremendous impact of pop culture on society.

Community members are encouraged to read books about pop culture and participate in the many 2015 Great Read-related programs slated through May. Suggested books and a listing of events are available at the Great Read website.

Programs highlight pop culture topics ranging from books to art, movies and television, from music to the media, and food to fashion, all of which uniquely impacted society – whether short-lived like pet rocks, or long-lasting like the Beatles.

HISTORY
The Great Read began in September 2004 as Reading Across Plainfield. That year, a panel hosted by the Plainfield School District and Plainfield Public Library debated the theme of government censorship as illustrated in Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury’s science fiction classic.

In 2008, Reading Across Plainfield became The Great Read. New partners from Joliet and Bolingbrook joined the program to encourage broader community participation, better reflect the areas served and emphasize the program’s literary focus.

This year, The Great Read is proud to add the Lemont Public Library as its newest member.

The Great Read is presented by Plainfield School District 202; the Plainfield Public Library; the Joliet Public Library; the Fountaindale Public Library; the Lemont Public Library; the Shorewood-Troy Public Library; the White Oak Library District; Joliet Junior College; Plainfield Township; the Joliet-area Barnes & Noble store; and Voyager Media.

The Great Read is supported by generous grants from the Plainfield Foundation for Excellence; the Friends of the Plainfield Public Library; Plainfield Township; and additional funding from participating member organizations.

Please visit The Great Read website for a complete list of books, events and program information: www.greatread.org

Annual Dinner and Auction

http://www.theherald-news.com/2015/03/28/quick-news/au6jvyf/

http://patch.com/illinois/plainfield/plainfield-foundation-excellence-hosts-annual-dinner-april-10-0

http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/joliet-romeoville/community/chi-ugc-article-four-phscc-grads-in-line-for-foundation-for-e-2015-03-31-story.html#page=1

 

March 31, 2015

Four PHSCC grads in line for Foundation for Excellence 2015 Alumni Hall of Fame

Plainfield – Four distinguished Plainfield High School (now Central Campus) graduates will be inducted into the Plainfield Foundation for Excellence Alumni Hall of Fame at a special ceremony at the Foundation’s annual dinner and auction on Friday, April 10, 2015.

The event, which serves as the Foundation’s main fundraiser, will be held at the Bolingbrook Golf Club, 2001 Rodeo Drive, Bolingbrook. Tickets are $75 each. The social hour and silent auction will begin at 6 p.m. and dinner will be served at 7 p.m.

The Alumni Hall of Fame Class of 2015 includes:

*         1959 graduate John Berst, the president and CEO of Components Express, Inc., an international computer cable manufacturer headquartered in Woodridge, Illinois. He is nominated in the Business and Commerce, Community Service and Volunteerism and Philanthropy and Non-Profit Service categories.

Berst lost his left leg below the knee in 1962 to bone cancer. From 1970-90, he regularly visited with young cancer patients and their families to support them as they dealt with amputation.

Since 1993, he has sat on the Board of Directors for the Barr Foundation, a non-profit organization that helps amputees with prosthetic rehabilitation.

He and his family also host a special event each year for physically and mentally handicapped adults at their home in Portage, Wisconsin.

*         1990 graduate Justin Ahrens, principal and creative director for Rule 29 Design, a strategic design, branding and communications agency in Geneva, Illinois. Ahrens is nominated in the Arts and Entertainment and Philanthropy and Non-Profit Service categories.

Ahrens and his associates are committed to “making creative matter” by both incorporating great design and helping others think differently about the world around them. They accomplish this through proactive involvement in social causes including significant work in Africa.

Ahrens has served on boards for various groups including the HOW Design Conference and the AIGA professional association for design.

He regularly speaks at design and business conferences about creative inspiration, leadership and design strategy.

Ahrens has served as an adjunct design instructor and helped with senior- and graduate-level design and strategy classes at Notre Dame and Kent State University, where students and professionals work together on social issues.

*         1964 graduate Roger Sebby, retired United States Air Force Lieutenant Colonel and music conductor with the United States Air Forces Band. Sebby is nominated in the Arts and Entertainment category.

Sebby returned to Plainfield after graduating from college to teach band, choir and general music at Indian Trail Middle School, where he also started beginning and intermediate strings programs.

Subsequently Sebby was appointed a graduate assistant at Western Illinois University where he earned a master’s degree. While there he auditioned and was appointed as Commander/Conductor of the United States Air Force Band program.

With the Air Force Bands, Sebby conducted and performed around the world, touring in over 35 countries in the Pacific theater, Europe and Eastern Europe.

Sebby, who won numerous awards for his exemplary musical leadership also served as adjudicator for the Dixie Classics Music Festival in the United States, and festivals in Japan, Hong Kong and Spain.

*         1968 graduate Dr. Lea Johnson, president of Maria College of Albany, New York. Johnson is nominated in the Education and Humanities category.

Johnson comes by her education career through her mother, Elinor Nemanich who taught English at Indian Trail Middle School. She graduated from Lewis University with a degree in psychology, and later earned degrees in public relations, nursing and higher education management.

Maria College named Johnson as its president in May 2012. She is only the fourth president and the first lay president in the school’s 57-year history. Johnson has earned praise for her spirit of transparency and open communication style. She has led the development of seven new baccalaureate degree programs, and has increased scholarship funding, among numerous significant achievements in her short tenure.

Before joining Maria College, Johnson served as dean of the School of Business at American International College where she restructured and improved the MBA and Healthcare Management programs.

She also served for 10 years as the division director at Northeastern University for more than20 undergraduate and graduate programs. She is the founding director of the Bouve Institute for Healthcare Leadership and Professional Development at Northeastern University.

Johnson has been nationally recognized for her work with curriculum development and partnership building.

The Foundation for Excellence Alumni Hall of Fame was founded in 2011 to recognize and showcase graduates from District 202 to recognize those individuals who have created a legacy for current and future students.

All inductees must have graduated at least 20 years ago. Therefore, all inductees attended (then) Plainfield High School.

Those selected for induction have both achieved much in their chosen profession, and given back to District 202, their community or society. All inductees are nominated by community members.

“This year’s class of inductees proves once again that District 202 is an exemplary community filled with accomplished, talented and dedicated leaders and servants,” said Margie Bonuchi, Chair of the District 202 Foundation for Excellence.

The “Class of 2014” comprised:

*         Plainfield Mayor Mike Collins (1964) for achievement in government and military

The Class of 2013 included:

*         Architect Cliff Bender (1969) for achievement in science and technology

*         Bonnie Lutter (1954) for her community service and volunteerism

*         Dr. Jeff Ryan (1989) for achievement in medicine and health

The “Class of 2012” comprised:

*         Judy Avery (1959) for her outstanding accomplishments in community service and volunteerism, and

*         Dr. Burt Saxon (1965) for his professional achievements in education.

The inaugural “Class of 2011” included:

*         Karen Hamilton (1958) for her community service and volunteerism

*         Dr. Bradley Barnes (1977) for his work in the field of dentistry

*         Lt. Col. Christopher Cozzi (1988) for his service in the U.S. Air Force, and

*         Dr. Julie Ruddy (1988) for her service as a clinical psychologist for the U.S. Navy.

Since 1983 the Foundation for Excellence has raised and contributed nearly $400,000 to support District 202 students and staff in the form of grants, scholarships and special funding.

The Foundation has also supported special programs including a District Art Gallery, the Great Read community reading program and the 1847 Schoolhouse Restoration.

Tom Hernandez
Director of Community Relations
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Officer

 

Nominations sought for fifth annual Foundation for Excellence Alumni Hall of Fame

FOR INFORMATION, CALL   Tom Hernandez (815) 577-4008     tahernan@psd202.org

December 4, 2014  

Plainfield – Nominations are being accepted for the fifth annual induction into the Plainfield Foundation for Excellence Alumni Hall of Fame.

The Alumni Hall of Fame honors District 202 graduates who have distinguished themselves beyond their high school years through their significant accomplishments or service.

Nominations must be received by January 31, 2015. Please see the nomination form for more information.

The Foundation for Excellence created the Alumni Hall of Fame in 2011 as part of the Foundation’s work to promote excellence and achievement for District 202 learners.

Nominees will have significant accomplishments and/or community service recognized as outstanding through the receipt of awards, honors, or other forms of distinction.

Nominees will have made a profound and positive international, national, regional or local impact on their chosen field or community.

Nominations for candidates will be accepted in these categories:

*         Arts and Entertainment

*         Business and Commerce

*         Community Service and Volunteerism

*         Education and Humanities

*         Government and Military

*         Medicine and Health

*         Philanthropy and Non-profit

*         Science and Technology

*         Sports and Recreation

Nominees must have graduated from a District 202 high school at least 20 years prior to nomination, or from the Plainfield High School which preceded the formation of District 202. This requirement may be waived for candidates who entered military service prior to their graduation or for other special circumstances.

Each nomination form must be fully completed and submitted as outlined on the form to be considered.

District 202 alumni, current or former faculty and staff, administrators, and community members of District 202 may nominate someone for the Alumni Hall of Fame. Posthumous nominations will also be accepted. Nominations will be kept on file and reconsidered for the next two years following submission. A candidate may be re-nominated after three years.

A panel of Foundation Trustees will judge the nominations. The Foundation will honor this year’s inductees at its annual dinner and auction, to be held April 10, 2015.

Alumni Hall Class of 2014

*         Mike Collins (1964) – Government and Military Alumni Hall Class of 2013

*         Bonnie Lutter (1954) – Community Service and Volunteerism

*         Cliff Bender (1969) — Science and Technology

*         Dr. Jeff Ryan (1989) — Medicine and Health

Alumni Hall Class of 2012

*         Judy Avery (1959) — Community Service and Volunteerism

*         Dr. Burt Saxon (1965) — Education and Humanities

Alumni Hall Class of 2011

*         Karen Hamilton (1958) — Community Service and Volunteerism

*         Karen Hamilton (1958) — Community Service and Volunteerism

*         Dr. Bradley Barnes (1977) – Medicine and Health

*         Lt. Col. Christopher Cozzi (1988) – Government and Military

*         Dr. Julie Ruddy (1988) – Government and Military

The Foundation for Excellence marked its 30th anniversary in 2013. Since 1983, the Foundation has raised and contributed more than $400,000 to support District 202 students and staff by funding grants, scholarships and projects; and by supporting special programs such as the Great Read, a District Art Gallery and the 1847 Schoolhouse Restoration.

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